There are few things I like to do in the summer more than take the kids strawberry picking. We spend the day combing fields looking for delicious, ripe berries and alternate plopping them into buckets and our mouths. Deep, red juice dribbles down tiny chins, and wide grins grace sun-kissed faces. Bellevue Berry Farm is our favorite place to go, strawberries are two dollars a pound, but the experience is priceless.
Rustic views captivate my heart. Sun drenched fields stretch as far as the eye can see and wooden fences embroider the landscape like a quilt. The ground is so flat and the sky is so large and we're just three tiny people surrounded by nature. Finding ways to get out of the city is necessary to my soul every once in awhile. The Berry Farm isn't far from civilization at 42nd & Cornhusker, but as you drive down the winding dirt path you feel like you're entering another world.
Moments seem to last longer when there's dirt under your nails and wind in your hair. We're city folk, but I want experiences like this to be a part of my kid's childhoods too. The thrill of running without having to stop at a property line, the mystery of discovering a new flower, nut or pretty stone, the independence one comes into when there are fewer rules. We're not a very crunchy or free-range family, but there is a certain appeal to a simpler life. Visiting places like the berry farm allows us to indulge in the country life every once in awhile.
We visited after a monumental rainstorm; Grayson and his friend were entranced by the puddles. I outfitted the kids in rain boots, knowing it would be muddy on the farm. The rain swollen ground held mini-ponds more than eight inches deep in places, so the boots ended up being fairly useless as the little boys waded out to the middle and they became waterlogged. Off balance, with heavy feet they toppled over and were drenched! Soon they were pouring shoe-fulls of water over each other's heads… It was hard for us mothers to intervene through our laughter. Boys getting to be boys though... the mess was so worth it.
We left with hearts full of memories and tummies full of berries. We managed to pick enough fruit for a pie as well. I just appreciate the fullness of the experience so much. My kids got to see where their food comes from and take part in harvesting it. They had essential roles in bringing dessert to "fruition" that night! It just fills this mama's heart full up watching her babies engage with this world. It's the simple experiences that when strung together, create a beautiful life, and that's what I want them to remember about their childhoods.