It started many years ago when my children were 3 and 4 years old. We were looking for something to do on a wet, chilly fall morning. My oldest didn't handle crowds well when he was young, so we often tried to save visits to public places when it wouldn't be as busy. It occurred to me that this particular morning might be quiet at the apple orchard, so we decided this was the place to be.
It was only us exploring among the apple trees. At one point I kicked one of the fallen apples. My son saw this and kicked it back. Soon enough we had a spontaneous game of soccer going with the fallen apples. This wet, chilly morning became one of our favorite fall days that year.
Ever since it's been a tradition for my kids and I to head to the orchard on a day that few people would be there, preferably later in the season when more apples would be on the ground, but not yet too decomposed.
My children are 11 and 12 now and I wondered if this tradition would continue. I was home when they arrived off the bus this afternoon. I asked them if they were up for going to the orchard and after only some brief apprehension they both said yes.
It was just as magical as it always is. It was such a great reminder that even though my kids are getting older, they can still let loose and allow themselves to play. I allowed this with myself as well! I think we could all use a little more play in our lives and days like today remind me how good it feels.
I hope this tradition continues. I have visions of going to the orchard with the kids when they come home for fall break from college some day. I can dream, right?!?!