The first blackberries have reached perfection now and whilst Em gave a singing lesson in the cottage, Gabriel and I headed over the road to find some food. He cottons on fairly fast, especially where eating is involved and after watching me pick the dark lumpy berries for a while he waded in. Within moments “Lesson one of blackberrying – they are armed,” was fully comprehended. Falling headlong over a trip wire height bramble runner he landed, palm down on a bevy of thorns and erupted into heart felt tears. Recovered and blooded now (literally, but only a bit) in the art, he watched again and at my invitation stepped, cautiously this time to a low bunch of berries. Gabriel has an endearing way of squatting on his haunches, then putting his head to one side when he wants to look under something and having contemplated the leaf covered morsels thus for a white, he extended a chubby hand towards them. ‘Pull harder’ I suggested after the carefully closed finger and thumb came away empty and this time he plucked a blackberry clean away from it’s stem and thrust it quickly into his mouth. Approval was instantaneous and immediately the hand came forward again.
An unforgettable moment for me and a little moving that for the first time my son has actually taken part in something with me and not just played around the peripheries. Admittedly not many berries found there way from Gabriel to the picking container, but what a feeling to be foraging with my little boy!