Today I took my little ones on a berry picking expedition. The little blueberry patch is not far from our house, but it takes about 15 minutes when I slow my steps to match my 2 year old’s pace. As we walk, William’s tiny little fist enclosed in my own, I think back 4 years to when Ethan and Owen were this age. At that point in my life, I hadn’t yet learned to slow my steps and enjoy the journey. I would feel frustrated that every walk that we went on was interrupted again and again as the twins discovered another rock, pine cone or stick. Why did it take me so long to learn to enjoy the discovery and wonder of it all? Why did I always feel so rushed to reach the destination?
William finds a small saskatoon bush with heavy, ripe berries hanging from it’s branches. We stop to pick the berries and drop them in his little bucket. I know he is proud to have the bottom of his bucket covered. I am surprised that he doesn’t eat them right away. We walk on; the terrain is rough and the little bucket bounces wildly. William notices as his last berry leaps from his bucket. “Berries all gone!” he tells me, distress raising his voice.
“It’s all right,” I tell him soothingly as I pick up the single berry and drop it in his bucket, “We’ll find more.” We stop at the next bush and replenish the little pail. As we walk on I carefully watch his bucket and the berries arrive safely at the blueberry patch.
I tell William that he can eat the berries from his own bucket, but not from Mommy’s. We all spread out and pick and eat berries to our hearts content. The children bring their small buckets and dump them into my large one. Even William dumps a berry or two into the main bucket and we all praise him profusely, telling him what a big helper he is. After a little while everyone is tired and we stop for some juice and a snack before heading home.
As we walk home I think of how glad I am that I have learned to enjoy the journey, but I realize that there is another lesson that I want to learn; I want to play with my children more. I know in theory how important it is to play together, have fun together, but I’m always trying to accomplish something and playing doesn’t seem to be accomplishing anything. Yes, I’m focused on the destination again aren’t I?
I’m thankful for the new life growing in me and for the new opportunity to learn to slow down and enjoy each moment that God gives.