One way that Sarah and I celebrate the arrival of spring is by packing up the kiddos, driving them to the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm, and letting them run around helter skelter until our collectively low blood sugar forces us back to the car for cookies and fruit snacks.
We get smarter every year. Pack lots of food. Pack a variety of shoe options. Umbrellas. Cameras. Take the parents' van that has a DVD player. Bring along someone who has GPS on her phone so there's no getting lost.
Yep, this year we bribed Andrea into coming along. Well, maybe bribed isn't the right word. Tricked might be more accurate. She didn't know she'd be sitting on a make-shift chair in a minivan for a couple hours, responsible for running the DVD player, providing snacks and opening juice boxes, and getting absolutely no thanks from the kiddos ("Aunt Andrea! Move your head! We can't see the movie!"). We tell her she's making up for lost time. She's already devising ways to move out of the country.
The only disappointing thing about our trip to the tulip fields is what I discovered when I got home and moved the pictures from the camera to the computer: my camera was on the wrong setting and so ALL my pictures were pixelled out. Fuzzy. Out of focus. Noise all over the place.
Noisy pictures, noisy life, noisy girls, noisy mama. It's the way it goes sometimes. Fortunately, I have plenty of pictures from the first year, the second year, the third year, the fourth year, and (my favorite) the fifth year. And anyways, it's about the tradition, the memories, the talking we do in the midst of tulips.
And as Jules figured out during an attempted group shot: no matter how the picture turns out, you just have to smile and hold onto each other.