Husband sends me a photo of our daughter picking grapes off the vines that are finally ripe. Her plump little hands grasping for the plump little fruit. This.
It’s time to feed the animals, so I take my daughter out to the barn with me. She knows what to do. First she drops pellets of chicken feed one. at. a. time. (The chickens don’t get impatient like Mama does.) Then she runs for the bag of goat feed that she can reach all by herself, grabs a fistful and takes it to Jane. She’s not afraid of that goat anymore. She’s a big girl now. This.
I stop to weed the herb bed a bit, so she takes the time to play with the oyster shells we have in the garden, picking them up, dropping them, hearing the crunch as she walks on them. It’s all good fun. This.
Dusk is settling in, but there are berries to pick. “More?” she asks. She knows which ones are the sweetest, and I’m getting good at removing berry stains. This.
On a warm sunny day, she sits on the ground and digs handfuls of ruby-colored watermelon right from the rind, popping it in her mouth like it’s candy. This.
She rides in wheelbarrows and peach baskets. She gets dirty. She helps harvest ripe tomatoes. She knows the sound of Daddy’s tractor: “Vroom, vroom?” she says.
This is the childhood that we envisioned for her. And amidst the never ending laundry, the hours (and hours) of commuting every day, the chaos of combined calendars, and the to-do list that just keeps on growing, there is this.