Yesterday, Parker wanted to go out to see his apple tree. His daddy explained that we have winter up here and what that meant but he wanted to see, and being ever ready to share the joy of my backyard orchard, especially with a grandchild, I went outside with him to inspect how the Fuji was doing.
It did still have a very few leaves left clinging. The other deciduous trees were bare now but one. So we talked about all the fruits and each in their season and all that was fine with him for it to be that way, he wasn’t disappointed like his father had been a little afraid he would be–he was simply learning new things. Winter bare, not from a book but in person. The leaves fall. Spring will come back when it’s time.
There was actually some fruit and greenery over to the left but he knew what those were and they didn’t interest him.
Today seemed like the right day to ask him: “Would you like to pick a lemon?”
His face lit up. “And make lemonade?!”
Me, grinning back: “And make lemonade.”
The Meyer happily had a few right in his reach. I mentioned it had thorns and to watch out for them and he was fine. He walked around the back of a peach (the Tropic Snow) to get to–oh wait, he liked that one next to it even better. It only just now hits me that I had said a lemon, so a single lemon was all he expected or took. Unlike sharing apple slices around the room, this was just going to be between him and me.
It took some pulling and a bit of branch coming with it because the lemon tree wasn’t entirely ready to let it go yet–but this early, they’re closer to pure lemons and less orangey. He skipped a little happy dance all the way back inside to the kitchen in great anticipation.
I found a cup-size strainer and showed him, bringing it down to his eye level again and again, how it caught the seeds and let the juice run through. See? More seeds on this other half of the fruit, too.
I added some water and sugar. Don’t skimp. He’s only just turned five. I poured half the lemonade into a second cup for me, tasted it, and added more sugar to his cup. Mine was sweet enough and very watered down and his definitely sweet and with great enthusiasm he pronounced it wonderful.
Meantime, Hudson was the ever-cheerful, outgoing little boy he always is even when he’s tired. Always ready to laugh. Always willing to wait his turn when I pay attention to his sister a moment. He’s an amazing little two-year-old.
As I sat on the floor, Maddy crawled up to me, patted me on the leg to get my attention, and held out a hand expectantly in clear expectation that I would blow on it. I did. She grinned. A few minutes later she stood up with her mommy holding onto her hands, let Kim let go, and instead of plopping right back down to safety or the highly tentative shifting of her weight onto the next foot forward she actually took two solid steps on her own coming towards me, falling down finally on the third. So close.
And given the sudden wail of frustration out of her that took us by surprise, I think she suddenly realized that she actually wanted to walk. That this was going to happen even if it meant giving up the comfort and safety and speed of the crawl. She needed this.
Soon, little one, so very soon.
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