Somewhere along the line, the rite of passage in apple picking became being able to bring along a pocket knife.
Matt first saw my Dad's idea to carry a knife into the orchard back when we were newlyweds.
Matt then learned he could slice out tastes of apples bypassing the unwashed skin to give tastes to his pregnant wife when we weren't wild about consuming pesticides with growing babies.
Then the knife proved helpful over the years with toothless babies wanting skinned apple bites or toddlers wanting tastes of half a dozen apples at a time.
Then the year came when Harrison asked to carry his own. Matt took him aside for a safety and user lesson and the rest was history.
Harrison had marched into that orchard responsibly carrying his pocket knife and carefully sliced apple samples, proudly cleaning his blade after each use.
Jefferson turned the pivotal age last year and was bestowed the same knife bearing honors.
He also proudly put his pocket knife to use and beamed with each successful slice.
Thank goodness Wilson is not yet at the big "pocket knife" age yet.
I can only imagine that wild man with a blade, even if it is only two and half inches long.
I pity the orchard that Wils first descends upon with his new privilege. We'll have to see a lot of responsibility levels increasing before I can think about a knife in that kid's pocket.
But I will say, if I ever need defending and protection, an armed Wils would be one of my first calls.
We'll see what happens next year. ;)
In the meantime, my two big guys carving out perfect slices of apple tastes for little siblings and pregnant momma sure made me proud.
These men are growing fast and even though we ended up losing one of the cherished knives somewhere in that orchard, we really admire the way they rise to occasion and love their proud little grins when they pull out their knives to slice into their fresh picked apple. :)