I love strawberries, and I especially love fresh-picked strawberries. When our children were young, we used to take them to a “pick your own” fruit farm and come back with buckets of strawberries. My in-laws also had a strawberry patch behind their house, and for years we made sure we visited when the strawberries were ripe. My mother-in-law graciously allowed me to help myself to her berries, which were always delicious. But after my in-laws passed away and our children grew up, I stopped finding the time to go strawberry-picking.
This year, I was intrigued when my daughter-in-law gave me some strawberries that she and my granddaughter picked from a nearby farm. They were very tasty, and she said the farm was only a twenty-minute drive away. I’ve been busy lately, and at first I didn’t think I could possibly find the time to go pick strawberries. But I also remembered all those other years I wanted to go and decided I was too busy, and how much I regretted it afterwards. The strawberry season is a short one.
So last Tuesday I put on my oldest pair of tennis shoes, drove myself to the farm and picked a big box full of ripe strawberries. (I would have picked two boxes, but my back told me it was time to stop stooping over.) I ate a few dozen, shared some with my family, cleaned another bowl-full to keep in the fridge, made a strawberry pie, and froze the rest. Not a bad result for a quick morning’s work.
Yesterday my grandson spent the afternoon at our house, and his parents were also going to drop his baby brother off at dinnertime so we could watch both of them while they enjoyed a quick date night. Just when it was time for me to start cooking our dinner, my grandson decided it was time to dance to one of his favorite songs. I watched him for a few minutes, complimented his moves, and edged toward the kitchen. “Please play the song again!” he pleaded, then added, “and dance with me!” I hesitated, knowing that it really was time to get dinner going before the baby arrived.
But just as I was opening my mouth to tell him I didn’t have time to dance right now, I suddenly realized that the time is soon coming when he won’t want to dance to “Baby Shark,” or any other song, with his grandma. And so I played the song again, took his hands, and we danced. Or to be more accurate, he danced and I jerked around like someone who’s receiving mild electric shocks. Dinner was late, but we had fun, and I know I made the right choice.
The truth is that life will always be busy, and there will always be problems demanding our attention. But sometimes we have to stop being so sensible and serious, and just do what makes us and those we love happy. The world won’t stop if we indulge our inner child now and then, and who knows? We might just be a better person for it too.