One of my absolute favorite summer days last year was when we headed out of the city one day to see the sunflower fields in Maryland. In spite of new babies and all the hardness that brings- we decided to do it again this summer. Only this time……all the sunflowers had died after some crazy intense storms. The effect was slightly less than stunning. The kids however, didn’t really seem to care, and happily ran around the field. New baby Beckett! After a very short visit to the flowers, we headed to Homestead Farm. Picking berries with our kids was one of my absolute favorite summer outings last year. The farm is exactly what I want out of a self-pick farm, with everyone just free to roam, lots to pick, and animals to feed. This was also the point where I preemptively changed Henry’s shirt into one that wouldn’t show berry stains- not my first rodeo. I sadly don’t have a picture of it, but Anna’s husband came with us and pulled the kids around in this wagon, which Henry still talks about at least every day.In the time it took to pick up our bucket, Henry also managed to secure an unauthorized peach and tomato. But in all fairness, he did devour both. A perfect summer day with my kids and some of their favorite friends. But more than anything, these pictures make me think of all the good ways that things have and haven’t changed in the last year. If you click here and scroll to the final pictures, you will see three almost identical to the last three above. Henry and his pals Mollie and Liv, covered in berries. But this time, the kids actually picked a lot of these berries, instead of just eating what Anna and I picked almost as fast as we could pick it. They were focused on their task, competent, and confident in exploring the fields. Henry and Liv weren’t really talking much last year, and Henry still preferred stanky leg crawling over walking. Now they had a constant chatter as they climbed through holes between rows of bushes. Parenting is the joy of watching these little people become themselves and I see so much becoming in the past year. Becoming braver and bolder and more observant and able to express all they see around them. Beyond those three sticky kids, Anna and I both had new babies strapped to us for the adventure- little lives who have become such big parts of our families and didn’t exist at all on last year’s outing.
So here’s to berries and blooms that weren’t there and babies who have showed up since last year and summer, and all the becoming and flowering and blooming that’s happened over the past year.