Berry Good


A trip to the grocery store resulted in a bounty of perfectly ripe strawberries. In season and on sale. They were even organic, so it was a win all around.

I was still unloading the groceries when Charlie spied those strawberries. His favorite! I returned from the car with the last load of bags to find Charlie and Millie eating them straight from the carton right on the kitchen floor. I shooed them away with the promise of plenty of berries on their lunch plates.

As Noon arrived, Charlie was hovering close by. As each new berry was de-stemmed and sliced, I would scoot it to the side of the cutting board where the sneaky hands of a 4-year-old were waiting to reach up, grab the berries and run. We continued like this, with me furiously preparing strawberries and Charlie reaching under my arm to snatch them right up; the pile of prepped berries diminishing dramatically. I enjoyed playing dumb and exclaiming, “Where could those strawberries be going?” Charlie’s laughter increasing with each new stolen slice.

He ruined his appetite with a belly full of berries. But his laughter was infectious and soon everyone was in on the fun and there were no strawberries left for lunch.

There are overly simple moments like these when our family life is so pleasing that the whole of it makes my breath catch. Incredulous that life could be this good. This happy. This blessed. Because more often than not, our life is not perfect, not pleasing. It’s frustrating, tedious, tiring, filled with big decisions and even bigger responsibilities.

It can be so hard to remember the good days when you’re having one where everything is sloping downhill. Where voices have been raised, tantrums thrown, tears shed and arms gripped a little too hard. Days with non-stop complaining from the kids.

So, it’s tough when Charlie is crying because his shirt is touching his skin (actually happened!), to pause and remember how fun it was that one time, earlier this summer, when he had the juice of way too many strawberries dribbling down his chin.

Parenthood. It’s such a mixed bag, you know?

4 thoughts on “Berry Good

  1. Beautiful commentary! I remember well. I remember one day when I left Kathy and Bob to eat their lunch of tomato soup plus sandwiches while I put a shade up in their bedroom (both were preschool). On my return to the kitchen both Kathu and Bob had put their fingers in soup and flicked it all over table, drapes, floor, walls and themselves. No soup remaining needless to say. Never left them alone again when disaster could strike.Remind Bob of that incident. Can just hear Charlie laughing when he thought he was putting something over on his Mother! Have a great time!

    • Ann, I would have just cried right then and there if I found a scene like that. You must have been finding specks of tomato soup for months and months all over the kitchen! Although, the thought of Bob and Kathy covered in soup makes me laugh.

  2. Back in the day when the girls were little we would go strawberry picking first thing in the morning. Upon returning home there was a breakfast of strawberry shortcake. Lunch would be Strawberry soup (milk and strawberries in the blender) and strawberry sandwiches (angle food cake slices with cream cheese and sliced strawberries). Dinner was strawberry stew (left over soup from lunch with blueberries, sliced fruit and some whipping cream mixed in for more body) and angle food cake. That was one day a summer they will always remember. The fun of being a parent!

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