For the fourth year in a row, Sarah and I took the girls to the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm. Per tradition, I got lost on the way there. I was totally NOT going to get lost this year. I had written down directions and had a little compass on the dashboard. In fact, I was going to leave early to make sure that I not only wouldn't get lost, but I also wouldn't be late, like I am every year.
I don't know why I bother with such optimism. I still managed to turn a 35-minute drive into a 70-minute drive. Next year...I promise, Sarah. I absolutely won't get lost. (See. There's that optimism again. I can't help myself.)
And despite the fact that Saturday and Sunday brought us weather that looked like this:
Fortunately, our excursion to the tulips a couple days earlier looked a lot more like this:
As sure as winter turns into spring (and then, for spite, might turn back into winter again), we go to the tulip farm. It's so much a part of our springtime adventures, I can't imagine not going with Sarah. Back in 2005, when Sarah and I first took the girls to the tulip farm, they were barely walking.
They were, in short, quite easy to photograph. We'd plant them next to a tulip, take a picture, and voila! The perfect picture. In case you don't know, it's easy to take pictures of slow moving children.
Then, the next year--at almost 2 years old--they were moving along at full force. They found every mud puddle, every flower, every smidgen of springtime to be fabulous and amazing. Running, splashing, smooshing the tulips.
We two pregnant mommies wondered how we would handle the next year.
But we did.
My most vivid memory of last year is taking pictures of Sydney, while I walked down the tulip rows, holding my camera in one hand, and Julianne--as she was nursing--in the other. Totally. How can tulips not be my favorite flower after that? They mark my triumph of multi-tasking.
This year was a whirlwind trip since I had to teach in the afternoon, which meant the morning had to be snappy. Take the pictures. No time for tantrums. Just enough time for trips down tulip aisles and the slide. Snacks and sippy cups in the car.
Well, okay. Time enough for one tantrum. But that's it.
I find that each year, I have progressively more shots of the girls from behind them. I run to catch up, and hope to snap a glimpse of their face, but they run faster. How is it that these girls can outrun me? Me, nimble as a deer.
At least, as nimble as a deer can be with a camera and a baby to haul around. That would be an Olympic event I'd pay to see. Mothers, cameras, babies, sippy cups hanging off their back pockets...sprinting toward the finish line. On second thought, that could be kind of dangerous. Nevermind.
No matter how we handle it, though, we get them there and we always have fun. At the very least, it's such an interesting little experiment to see how little people and little mommies grow up over the course of four years. Plus, tulips make for a fabulous backdrop, no matter what we're photographing. Four little cousins: Julianne and Sydney, Toby and Clover. A tromping, romping, running, laughing, toddlering, mothering, sunrainsnowmudpuddle tradition.
It wouldn't be spring without it.
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