The sky is blue in it’s heaven…
and the evening is reaching it’s way toward the horizon. I’m wondering if the adventures we had been trying to get to all day would be worth it…and if we’d make it before the farm closed.
I hear kids complaining as I try to convince them that it will be fun to go strawberry picking. They say, “but we’ve already been twice! Do we have to go?”
“This is a new strawberry farm that I took a family to for a photo shoot,” I tell them. “It’s going to be fun. Let’s go!”
Everyone wants to have freezer jam to eat in February but they are done having me drag them to strawberry fields to pick the strawberries we need so that we can have fresh jam on toast in the middle of the winter.
Even though they keep protesting everyone is finally piled in the car for a new strawberry picking adventure.
There are sighs and exasperated looks sent in my direction. Hopes that I would turn back and change my mind have evaporating and turning into resignation.
We arrive at the farm and the first thing that Grace sees is the awesome playground behind the fields.
Emma sees the strawberry boxes for gathering berries and hopes that she can carry her own. She can’t wait to get to the field.
Miriam walks with my mom. They talk and laugh and pick strawberries together. I love that Miriam is with her.
I take pictures because I want to remember this happy adventure even with the moans that it started out with.
Now, we are in the fresh air, walking through a beautiful berry field, and there is the promise of the delicious ripe sweetness of jam and strawberry shortcake.
After a little while the girls start playing follow the leader through the rows of strawberries and soon it is just me, my mom, and Mike that are picking strawberries. Emmett is laying down in a row…yes, laying down. I think he has picked one strawberry. We tease him about how tired he must be after the pressure and stress of picking one strawberry. We are all laughing and soon he is up and talking with us.
After picking a box of strawberries the girls have now run off to the playground.
We talk while we finish filling our box and enjoy each other’s company.
We laugh with Emmett as we walk to the swings. Soon we are heading back to the main farm building and then suddenly all of the kids are climbing up the ladders that lead to a giant cow.
And then there is a tunnel to go down just a little farther on down the path.
Our adventure has turned into something different…and something more. By the time we pile back into the car the moans and exasperated looks are long forgotten history. Now there is jovial laughing, happy chatting, and talk of where we are going next.
Five tips for your everyday adventures:
1. Make a plan. Before you go to bed at night know what you want to do the next day.
2. Don’t give up. Almost every time I plan an adventure there are things that get in the way…things that come up. The weather changes, the kids don’t want to go, it starts to feel like a bad idea. You wonder if it wouldn’t be easier to just stay at home. Go anyway. Pile everyone into the car or stroller and go anyway. Most of the time you will be so glad you didn’t let anything stop you. The adventure makes everyone happier and now you have an awesome happy memory that you all share. Don’t give up on adventure!
3. Bring along snacks. Nothing can destroy a happy adventure faster than hunger or thirst. Before you know it what was fun is now miserable because no one can think about anything but being thirsty or their rumbling stomach.
4. Be flexible. You can stick to your plan or definitely go on your adventure (or do something different than you planned) but once you get on your adventure be willing to go with the flow. Keep your vision for the day and at the same time be willing to let your feet wander where they want to, follow your fellow adventurers lead, allow yourself to let the gypsy in you come out to play.
5. Don’t worry and make sure to laugh. If everything doesn’t go according to plan…it’s okay. Oftentimes, plans that go awry lead to funnier and more interesting adventures and memories. They make for the stories you’ll be telling when your family is grown. Years ago we were at the zoo and we didn’t make it to the bathroom in time for one of my kids. It was just me at the zoo with my four kids, I had to have all of my kids stay in the bathroom with my child that had no clothes to wear while I ran to the gift shop to buy an outfit. I was laughing at how funny we all must look if someone were video recording the whole situation. Every time that outfit was worn the kids would remember our day at the zoo. It’s a family story that we laughed about it when it happened and we still laugh about now.
I love adventuring…the kind of adventuring that happens everyday. Big adventures and road trips and vacations are fun but there is adventuring to be had in the everyday.
This is familyness.
What adventuring tips do you have? Please share them in the comments!