Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Fall Fun: BJ Reece Apple Orchard

When Gary and I first were married, it was wonderful to spend our free time together. We traveled and did a lot of fun things with each other. Our marriage was cultivated and our friendship grew. We took martial arts together, we learned how to enjoy a motorcycle together, we painted in our new home together, we took tennis lessons together and the list could go on. But, in a nutshell, we spent quality time together.

We did have a dream of one day sharing all that we did with a child. There were many people who said we should just enjoy our time without children. But, after 5 years of marriage and no children, we didn't like to hear that from people.

We were the couple who passed by the park where other parents were playing with their children on Saturday and Sunday wishing that was us. We looked at families at the fairs and festivals with their kids wishing that was us. We awoke late on Saturday morning to make pancakes wishing we had a little one there to stir the batter.

Did we enjoy our time together? Of course we did. But, there was something missing. We wanted to share with a child what we were experiencing and we wanted to see these experiences through their eyes.

After a total of 8 years of marriage, we were blessed with Declan through adoption. He has brought more joy into our lives than we ever could have imagined. Seeing the world through his eyes is so wonderful. We find ourselves getting excited over things that really would normally seem so hum drum.

One of these such events took place this last Sunday. Gary and I had visited the apple orchard a couple of times. One time with my mom which was great!!! I loved sharing the time with my mom. and the apple pie wasn't too shabby either. But, this year we were able to share it with Declan.

It was a gorgeous day. One of those days that I could be a cat or a lizard and just lay in the sun basking in its warmness. One of those clear, blue sky days with just enough of a breeze to keep you from sweating puddles into your shoes.

It was a perfect day. To make it even more perfect, we reached the orchard before the crowds.

At first, Declan didn't understand what we were doing. He was still strapped in his stroller just along for the ride. But, as we began to make our way through the shaded slopes of the orchard, we began to see a little excitement start to bubble right under the surface.

At that moment, it didn't matter to me anymore that the rotten apples on the ground were really stinky (a side effect of a really strong sense of smell) or that the stroller wheels kept sliding on the uneven ground. Or, that I was struggling just to push him through the wet spots and the little bits of mud.

Nothing else mattered at all. What mattered was that he was enjoying himself and he was getting to experience something he had never before experienced!! We tend to take for granted at times what it must be like to see something for the very first time - rain for example or a frog on the back window (Who would've thought a frog on the window would ever get me excited?)

The longer we stayed in the orchard, the more excitement we saw through his eyes. Of course, the best apples were at daddy level. So, halfway through the orchard, daddy was carrying Declan and showing him how to reach for the apples on the branches. The first time he grabbed for an apple was so exciting for us. Who knew seeing your almost 1 year old grab at an apple in a tree would be so great?

I am sure other people were wondering, "What is wrong with those people - it is just an apple in a tree?" "Why are they so excited?" Those people didn't know what they were missing.

Below you will see some of the photos from that day. Even though Declan could not express himself with words, we know he thoroughly enjoyed himself. And, we can't wait for many more "new" experiences lived through his eyes.

Smile, Please
Georgia Mountains and the 3 Musketeers
Thanks, Dad!
One proud Daddy!
Reaching For The Apple
You mean I get to take it off of the tree?

Now What?
Big Bite!

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