hand-in-hand with jackets zipped up and hoods pulled tight, we braved the cold fall air and late afternoon wind to cross the driveway into the neighbouring apple orchard. the little one loved the hearty american-favourite fruit almost as much as she loved saying the word "apple." her delicate rosebud mouth would open up into a wide grin reaching her full cotton candy pink cheeks and she'd say "apple apple"--her voice tiny and delicate--and then she'd dig in with a big bite pulling off a small chunk of skin, barely scratching the fleshy goodness. she'd look up with a big smile and giggle.
in the orchard, she spotted the apple of her eye and pointed to it.
we made our way in baby steps to the winning tree and together tugged the apple off the branch--my hands over her tiny ones. she giggled and looked up at me with her big blueberry eyes. i wiped the red apple on my pants and shined it up. her arms were eagerly outstretched.
with both hands she cupped the shiny apple and took a hearty bite. she looked up at me, grinned, and again, hand-in-hand, the apple carefully balanced in her free hand, we started our way back to the warmth of the house and mama and papa.