The temperature on the car dashboard read 68 degrees. I backed out of the driveway at 9:20 am with Bean fussing. By 9:25 she was out for her morning nap and I was turning onto Route 66, nothing but blue sky ahead. When I hit a snag in traffic 10 minutes later, I didn’t care: Bean was sleeping and I was sipping tepid coffee, listening to the third John Mayer album that I’d recently bought to complete my collection of his work.
The road opened up and I passed trees already turning golden yellow, yearning for autumn. The speed limit said 65 mph, but I was happy with my cruise control set at 50. There was no need to rush today, no need to push the limit.
We were off to an apple orchard – Bean’s first farm experience. We couldn’t have asked for more perfect weather for the short drive and stay at Hartland Orchard in Markham, VA. Less than an hour away and a stone’s throw from 66, it boasts pick-your-own fruit, hay rides and a corn maze. I can see it being a staple locale for us in years to come. I discovered the farm on a great Web site that lists all kinds of farms where you can pick produce and take part in seasonal celebrations.
Friend Beth and her little guy joined us. We two moms strapped on our Baby Bjorns and walked through the rows of apple trees to find the hanging fruits. Each balancing a camera, a bag of apples and a baby, we searched for prime varieties we could take home to our hubbies.
Bean and I stayed longer, and I set us up on a cushy blanket underneath an apple tree. I sang songs as Bean played with toys and looked up at the green leaves and aqua blue sky. I had some snacks, and we listened to the crickets and the wind in the trees.
This is what it means to be a mother. And surely this is what it means to be a child. There is much beauty in the world, and I am privileged to be a part of and a contributor to it all.