Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Lesson of the Strawberry

Sunday is the day I share a little of my soul. Enjoy.

About two months ago, we put some strawberry plants into our garden. I have one son (nicknamed Face), who seems to be a lot more excited about that little patch of earth than any other part of our humble plot of garden space. He just loves strawberries. It's been interesting hearing the daily report on the berries. It's been beautiful to watch his new expressions as each new blossom has come and his frustration when the flowers didn't lead to fruit. I've seen him out in the berry corner with the sprinkler on the lowest setting at the end of the water hose. He's patiently held that sprinkler over each little plant. One day in particular, his big brother (in true big brother fashion) saw him with the hose in that delicate, vulnerable state, and turned the water up full power. Yes.  It was a dramatic, traumatic, and embarrassing experience for a kid who just wanted to water his little plants. Sometimes I get to deal with brothers being stinkers-for-brothers. Sometimes. 

Sometimes I also get to see the miracle of forgiveness. Right after that unfortunate big brother water bath...little brother found this. His first strawberry. Gleefully it was picked and I was on the spot with my camera. It was epic!

Guess who he split the berry with?  He took that berry and tenderly washed it in the cool water of the hose. Then...he walked it over to his brother. They ran inside, cut the berry in half and blissfully relished each little nibble. Face stopped eating . He was only half-way through his half of the berry...he brought it out to me. As only a true saint would do, he then  insisted that I have that last little bite. I've never had a more amazing berry in my entire existence as a chef. Ever.  Love changes everything...even the flavor of a strawberry.

Are there even words for how amazing it feels to see love in action like that? 

I told him, " Usually if someone does a mean thing like the "hose incident" it's normal to not want to do something nice. Why did you share your berry?" Do you know what he said? "Yes I know that mom. He's still my brother."  I think that his strawberry was the sweetest, most incredible berry to ever cross the palate of this little boy...and his brother...and his mother. Love is sweet. divine. I will never look at strawberries the same. Ever.

There it is.

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess


Brendadlr said...

My goodness, what a beautiful story. It seems they are teaching US a wonderful lesson on true love and family. Well done, Stephanie. Enjoy the fruits of those life lessons well learned.

Sassy said...

I loved fact it brought tears...........I love the tender moments we witness as glad you wrote about it....I wish I had written all of mine down when they were all here......I didn't realize I would get to this part in my life where I am alone so quickly............oh my honey is still here...but oh how I miss being a "needed" Mom...those days when I wanted to change my name from {{{{MOM}}}}.....hahaha CHILDHOOD IS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL OF ALL LIFE'S SEASONS........I loved your berry story...seeing your sons love for others...precious and priceless....

mmpaints said...

Your boys are awesome, thanks for sharing Tess!

Anonymous said...

That one made my eyes well-up.

Nana2boys said...

Such a sweet tender spirit your little one has. Made me cry.