Blackberries are one of my favorite things. No, not the handheld, electronic version, the fruit. On one of our daily walks we stumbled upon wild blackberries. I was surprised at the amount of fruit on the wild bushes. The more I looked the more I discovered that they are everywhere. The bushes like to grow along the creek in our neighborhood. The more we walked the more we found. I was determined to go and pick some for myself. The kids love to pick strawberries, apples and peaches so I was sure they would enjoy this. The fact that the berries were not in nice neat rows and were along a creek only added to the adventure.
The kids and I walked down to the creek and found several bushes. I explained what we were looking for and that we only needed the black ones not the red ones. I handed out their cartons and away we went. At first the enthusiasm was abundant. Then a few complaints came and went. Blackberries have thorns and after a few pokes and a little blood, Jack was done. Mark and Emma kept on picking. Then Emma was bitten by a fire ant and then she was done. Mark and I picked a few more minutes until he was distracted by the search for more bushes and off he went to follow the creek. I continued to pick berries determined to get enough to make a blackberry recipe I had found. While I picked I listened to the buzz of several dragonflies, the gurgle of the creek and the whining of my children. Jack was hot, not to mention bleeding from a cut on his ankle. Emma was whining because, "no one asked her if she wanted to pick the stupid berries." I tried to over look the whining after all I was the one who forced them out into the creek. I am so mean.
As a parent I try to add variety to our summer vacations. I truly thought that this would be fun, and for me it was. I have to admit I had a beautiful image of my kids and I laughing, joking and discusing the wonders of picking wild blackberries. As it turns out I once again exceeded my own expectations. It appears they will someday need therapy for the blackberry picking mom made them do! Eventually, I decided to go and hot, tired and a little bloody we returned home with just over 4 cups of wild blackberries!