As I’ve mentioned previously, I despise the fall, for a number of reasons. But in the spirit of the season, we embarked as a family on the customary, New England required fall family experience:
Apple & Pumpkin Picking.
For those of you that have not had the thrill of participating in such an event, please let me share it with you. You know the apples that come in a bag in the produce section of your local grocery store? Well, in the fall, those are simply not.good.enough. Why buy those when you can drive out of state, hit a field, and pick them yourselves?? Why buy 3lbs of apples, when you can pay far more for, say, 10lbs?
(I know. I don’t really get it, either. But like parenthood, I end up doing a lot of things I don’t quite understand…)
And don’t even get me started on pumpkins. I’m not a fan. In my area, there are signs dotting the major roads that simple say, “U Pick”. They’re indicating that there is a pumpkin picking farm nearby. And do “u pick”? Yes, but forget the fantasy of wandering into a green, vine-clad pumpkin patch. Nope.
It’s a bare field. With pumpkins. Just.sitting.there. On the ground. You don’t “pick” them, as in pluck them off the vine. Nope. You “pick them” as in,
“Hey. I want THAT one.”
Now, pick it up.
But in the interest of family bonding, we loaded our kids into the family truckster and heading up near my sister’s area in Connecticut for a day of picking fun.
(And for the record, it’s nearly impossible for every single child to be happy on any given family outing. So what starts out as an enthusiastic, “Yay! Let’s go APPLE picking! Whoo hoo!” inevitably dissolves into a car ride more like this:)
We had beautiful weather for our outing, and the kids did enjoy the novelty of picking apples right off the tree*
(*for $20 per bag, they better have enjoyed it!)
Eating them straight off the trees was fun, too…
And the fresh air must’ve done them some good, because the apple farm was the one place where I didn’t end up lugging everything on my own.
It’s never easy to take six children out, but it is always worth it. No matter how much work is involved, there are always those brief pauses when I take a step back and marvel as I watch my kids enjoy the moment. I love being able to provide them with experiences that they will remember as family traditions. I want to help them make fun family memories. And you BET I have the photographic proof!
But lest my description seem too “facebook-y”: as in the perfect family experience, I will admit that yes, #6 DID disappear into the apple trees briefly, triggering the parental:
“I thought YOU had him!”
“Noo.. I thought YOU did…”
(We found him quickly. Eating apples, of course.)
Or the hallowed “family shot”… please note #1’s death glare directed at #2, who pushed her seconds prior…
Now, note #2’s ponytail being yanked by #1…
“Now, SMILE, everyone! SMILE, dammit!”
But a great time was had by all, and we have the apples and pumpkins to prove it. Yup. Lots and lots of apples. About 10lbs worth.
But no worries; they’ll go quickly…. clearly.…Six Pack Mom