Monday, September 12, 2016

Strawberries and Sunshine

It was deep in the midst of strawberry season, let's call it the second week of June.  On a bright Saturday morning, or perhaps a partly cloudy Tuesday afternoon, or sometime like that on a day in the second week of June, I was picking my strawberries.  I was picking them in the usual way, that is to say my usual way, which is to say I would pick strawberries from one section, and then scoot myself over and begin picking a new section.  Is this the usual way?  I assume so.

I had just picked one section entirely bare of strawberries, and so took the next step in the process: scooting myself over.  I had scarcely done so, when upon looking down again I realized that there had been, all along, hiding delicately underneath carefully poised leaves, more strawberries than I had been able to see from my previous position.

A bounty of strawberries in what I had naively assumed to be a completely picked over and now barren section of plant.  What fool I, to think that from one position I could see all, and know all, there was to know about that plant.  Only to discover, upon shifting my view just an inch, a whole new crop waiting to be plucked.

This morning in the car on the way to school the sunshine was particularly bright and gruesome to the eyes.  Hazel in particular was suffering.  "It's bright! It's too bright, mama!" Her pleas for some assistance pierced my heart but what could I do? Her sunglasses had been left, forlorn and forgotten, at home.  "I cannot move the sun, baby" I tell her, and then advise her to close her eyes.  This is our daily routine.

Quite suddenly, from the back there arose a new development to the age old conversation, one that I have been having with every single one of my children since Hallie was first old enough to express the sentiment verbally, "It's bright! It's too bright mama!" - comforting and familiar this scheduled talk is, and the new development started off innocently enough.

"The sun is shining right through Hazel's window!" Hallie said, from her seat in the van next to Hazel.

Then in the third row back, Hanna chimed in. "No! I can see the sun, coming in right through Heather's window!"

Tension added now to their voices, I can tell this has already begun to escalate.  "No! Hazel's!" "No, Heather's!"

No one likes to be wrong.  In my best "I am the mother" voice, I said, "You are looking at the sun from different perspectives.  You are both right."  End of discussion. Silence.  They absorb this new information as best they can.

Then, "what is perspective, mom?"

I'm not going to pontificate on the lessons I learned from these two experiences, I will let you draw your own conclusions.  Or, perhaps to you they are nothing more than a story about an incompetent berry picker, and a mother who tries to stall fights.

Either way, I hope you have a very nice day.