Yesterday the kids and I arrived to my dad’s house on the farm. As we drove past the apple orchard at the top of his long drive, we noticed plump rosy apples scattered at the base of the trees. The apples are ripe!
Later, we all walked down to the orchard with a big basket and wheelbarrow in hand. In previous years I would have had to do the picking, or at least help with reaching the tallest branches or to explain which apples were ready for picking. But not this year. The kids climbed up into all the trees and collected apples all on their own. I picked one apple just for nostalgia’s sake, but the rest were picked by the kids, working together as a team – one child high up in the branches handing apples down to the others on the ground.
I watched from the old wooden fence on the outskirts, my camera in my hand and my heart bursting with pride. This simple act of picking apples kept them busy and happy, working together as they filled the wheelbarrow.
I’m pretty sure Marlow ate about six apples while the others picked. She walked around the orchard with an apple in each hand, sneaking bites from alternating hands. It was just last year that she was probably in my baby carrier, snuggled up and sleeping during this afternoon hour, still a baby and still somewhat separate from the big kids.
This summer has been the summer where my four kids became one big team, independent from me and happy together. My mama heart could not be more full.
p.s. Quin took the last two photos. I got cross with him for messing around with my camera… but then I saw these photos and was thankful he snapped them.