When you were almost two months old, The B’s came to my hometown and we all went apple picking together. The orchard we went to was actually on a mountaintop and it was a beautiful September afternoon. I’d never been to an orchard before, and – quite obviously – neither had you. The fact that it was on a mountaintop only added to the beauty of it. It was a first for both of us.
I had so much fun. When The B’s got there, they immediately handed you over to me and I got to carry you around in your little Baby Bjorn the whole day. You slept most of the time and we had a little hat to cover your head, but your little chubby legs stuck out the bottom of it. I played with your feet a lot.
Aunt S came with us and she helped Sports Man pick out his favorite apples. The orchard was laid out so that trees with the same kind of apples were lined up in rows, so you knew where to look for your favorites. If I had to pick one, I’d probably sad Red Delicious were my favorite, but quite honestly, I still can’t tell a whole lot of difference between different apple types, even though I love them. I’m pretty sure I ate more apple doughnuts that day than I did actual apples anyway (I’ll bring you back one day because you have to try those doughnuts. They’re incredible).
There was a part of the orchard where they kept animals, too. We walked through the woods to a lake and you could buy a handful of food to feed them. Sports Man got a kick out of that part. Towards the end of our orchard trip, we all curled up under the shade of a giant tree and ate some of our goodies (doughnuts!). J and I laid you out on a blanket and just looked at you and played with you and talked some. Back then, we were still getting to know each other. Every now and then we reminisce on those times and it’s so funny to us how far we’ve come since then. Comparing how close we are now to how little we knew then…it certainly has been a journey. A very, very fun one.
After the orchard, we met up at the restaurant where I work, and we all ate there. It was the first time anyone at work had gotten to meet you – you were a hit. Everyone loved you; they still do (quite a few of your Aunts work there). It was the first time I ever really got to show you off, and you know how I love to do that. You got a little fussy during dinner, so I took you outside and bounced you around until you fell asleep. I didn’t even need food – I would have walked around outside with you all night. People who walked by kept complimenting me on you, saying how cute you were, how sweet you were. I smiled and said thank you, enjoying my little, stolen moment of parenthood. I danced around with you as I rocked you. I sang a little bit (it’s not really anything you want to hear). Mostly I just whispered that I loved you over and over again.
I was a great weekend. The next morning before you left, C and I got together with The B’s really early and had breakfast at your hotel. Every visit, especially those early ones, are such wonderful memories of spending time with you and getting to know The B’s. We learned so much about each other and with every visit we had, the more we wanted another one. We almost never left one visit without planning the next. As they left that September, I knew I would down visiting you three weeks later for Sports Man’s birthday party. That was one of the many things The B’s did to try to make the adoption process as easy on me as possible – planning out the next visits, so I always knew when I would see you again. And it really did help. I think that’s what helped me heal as fast as I did. I never had to feel as though I “lost” you. They never let that happen.
You always give me something to look forward to. And now, I rarely have to wait. We’re all so in love with each other, I hear from The B’s at least a few times a week. I love them. I love the memories I have of the trips we’ve taken and the visits we’ve made. I still have my Liam-sized apple (as we deemed the itty, bitty apples) to remind me of that trip. It’s held up really well – just like everything else.