I learned a valuable lesson this past weekend. Well, re-learned really. It’s a lesson I’ve experienced time and again, but as a “romantic” or dreamer if you will, it’s probably one that I’ll continue learning my whole life over. What is the lesson? Don’t get caught up in your perception of reality. Let me explain.
Friday evening, Zach mentioned that a local farmer’s market had fresh strawberries available. We LOVE making strawberry jam and always run out about halfway through the winter. It’s our favorite, obviously. Unfortunately, with our busy summers, we’re typically caught up in a project and we don’t always do the best job of remembering to purchase our strawberries early in the season. And they go fast, lightning fast. So while we always manage to get our hands on strawberries, we almost never make it to the field in time to pick them ourselves. Zach learned of these particular strawberries when he saw pictures on Facebook of friends of ours hand picking said strawberries with their kids.
I had the pictures in my mind, and the “romantic” in me sprung into action. I’m taking Kenna to pick strawberries tomorrow and it’s going to be so. much. fun. The idea was to make it to the strawberry patch first thing in the morning. I wanted to beat the crowd, and get some adorable pictures of my daughter with that beautiful morning light. I told Kenna about my plan and she couldn’t have been more excited. I think she’s going to be a romantic too. Or maybe I just sold her on the dream of how awesome it was to pick strawberries.. by hand.. four quarts of them.. early in the morning. You see where I’m going with this.
Morning rolled around, and I hit the ground running so that we could get that early start on our day. Wake up, workout, get ready, roll out. Just one little problem. It was unusually chilly for a June morning and in my strawberry picking dreams it had been a warm, summer morning. Alright… we’ll wait an hour or so and give it time to warm up a little. To pass the time, I started cleaning up the house. Obviously, there’s nothing worse than bringing strawberries back to a cluttered house and kitchen. As I worked my way through the house and was just finishing up, I heard Zach outside with Kenna and realized that they were splitting wood. Sure, no problem, I’ll finalize my grocery list while I wait on them to wrap up. What’s one more hour. It was now 11 AM, way past my idealized strawberry picking time of 8 AM, it’s all good.
I walked out the door to check on their progress, and it was then that Zach announced he was coming with us to pick our strawberries. Whattttt… Could my dream get any better? We may be getting a late start, but now we’re a strawberry picking family. What FUN! Approximately 30 minutes later, we pulled into the parking lot at the strawberry barn, walked inside and I heard these words come out of my husband’s mouth… “Grab those quarts and we’ll go pay.” Uh, negative dear husband. We did not come here to pick up strawberries, we came to pick them by hand. And this is where his reality and my reality started to differ greatly (insert laughing hard emoji here.)
After much convincing, a little whining on Kenna’s part about her dreams basically being destroyed (she doesn’t get it from me), we had two buckets in hand and we were on our way to the strawberry field. Let the picking commence. It was at this point that the dream really started to unravel completely. We walked around the corner to find a strawberry field full of people. Full of strawberries? Not so much, but people, yes. As it turns out, you are directed to a specific row with your now seemingly large strawberry buckets and told you must remain in that location while you enjoy your picking dreams. Only, the rows are a bit “picked over,” the strawberries are a bit small, your child really only enjoys picking them for about five minutes maximum, and your husband starts to give you major eye rolls and sighs to let you know how displeased he is with the situation you have placed him in.
At the end of the day, it wasn’t that bad and the memories, eye rolls, and laughs are still 100% worth it. Would it have been so much easier to just grab our strawberry quarts and go? Yes. Did my sweet daughter end up picking any strawberries? A handful. Did my husband complain? A little. Did we only fill one bucket of strawberries and buy the rest pre-picked. Absolutely. Dreams versus reality. Reality was no where near the images I had in my mind the evening before. While our day ended up being completely different than I had imagined, it was actually better. My house is clean, wood is split, we spent the day as a family, and we laughed about it in the end. Take it from me, let reality be your dreams, not the other way around. It’s almost always better than you could actually imagine.
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