I watched them as they surged ahead down the row, picking as fast as they could. Someone had deserted The Baby just behind me and I turned around to see him eating a green strawberry. I tried to point out the red ones, but he didn't really care.
I know that the stems of strawberries are bad for you and I'm guessing the green strawberries aren't at the top of the great list. I thought about googling on my phone to see if they were poisonous but then I got caught up again in picking.
I heard a shout from down the aisle and I looked up to see boys with half-filled pails and a dad making great progress. This was odd since I looked down in my pail and I had only managed to find eight berries. It was at that exact moment that I realized what I was missing.
I turned to check on The Baby and he had a stem hanging out of his mouth. I snatched it out, promised to return and then ran down the aisle. I looked into the pails. My fears were realized. There were three pails full of strawberries with green tips. I looked at my husband with a glare and he blinked back a "whaaah?" I asked how they tasted. He said they were just okay. I mentioned that perhaps the ones that were ripe were better. He laughed.
I did what any self-respecting mother would do. I played the Mother's Day card.
K: Why don't you guys go play in those wagons over there while I pick? And can someone dig the green strawberries out of The Baby's mouth?
I'll admit I was a little worried about all the green-tipped strawberries because I was fairly certain that this was the field that charged $5 a pound of strawberries and that is a LOT of money for unripe strawberries. I said nothing to the offenders but everyone wandered off to play while I worked.
The weather was a gorgeous 60 degrees with sunny skies and I looked over to see Derek pulling all three boys in a wagon at the edge of the field. They were laughing excitedly and before long I had a fair amount of strawberries in my pail. I took them up to pay and realized with relief that they were $1.90 a pound instead of the $5 I feared.
I was glad I had decided to embrace the moment instead of giving a lecture about following rules and listening to your mother on Mother's Day. And those strawberries? They will make great sorbet tomorrow.