Babies Come From Vashon Island

Several weeks ago we were invited to a friend’s birthday party which was located on a piece of private beach attached to their neighborhood community center.  The open aired structure and bbq area sit atop a grassy hill that slops downwards towards a beautiful stretch of beach.  Directly across the passage of water, tree covered and looking gloriously earthy as the waters of the Puget Sound lap around its shores, rests the island of Vashon.  According to trusty old Wikipedia, Vashon Island is the largest island in the Puget Sound, measuring in at a whopping thirty-seven square miles.  There are no bridges connecting the island to the main land, a factor that heavily plays into the islands very rural feel.

Several decades ago Vashon Island was known for its agriculture, most notably its strawberry crops.  With the increase in residential development came the decrease in crops and, from what I understand, other than the occasional and personal berry crop the strawberry fields of yesteryears are gone.  This small detail, however, does not stop the fine folk of Vashon to continue with their traditional and yearly Strawberry Festival, which is held every July.

And so in the year 2005 in the later part of July and completely unaware of the extinction of these fine and delicious strawberry fields, Husband and I made the pilgrimage to the Vashon Island Strawberry Festival.  We envisioned fields of strawberry plants, arranged in neat and tidy rows, their ruffled leaves bobbing gently up and down in the salty breeze, stretching out as far as our eyes could see.  Our mouths watered with the thought of U-pick strawberries, red and soft, sweet and tasting of sun infused nature.

What we got instead was a baby.

For it was that after we consoled ourselves with a disappointing strawberry margarita or two upon the realization that there was not a single fresh strawberry to be had at this sham of a Strawberry Festival, our conversation turned to babies.  We had been having “the talk” for quite some time.  Together as a couple for ten years and as a married couple for three of those, the sticking point had always been a sense of unreadiness, mostly in the financial department.  We were doing alright and even regularly tucking monies away for that ever elusive time referred to as retirement.  But a baby?  Well, everyone knows those are expensive.

We lounged in the grass at the park watching the festival goers mill about eating festival foods and listening to festival music.  There was a distinct lack of strawberry all around us.  We talked of starting a family, of babies, and of how perhaps we would never really feel ready.  After a pregnant pause (ha!), I looked at Husband and said something to the effect that is was time.  Just like that.  We walked hand in hand to the bus stop and waited along with a small group people for the bus that would take us back to the ferry.

Four months later I was pregnant.

And so while at our friend’s birthday party, looking out across the water at Vashon Island, I commented that that was the place where it all started, where we had decided that it was time to have a baby.  Carter was standing nearby and overheard.  He looked over at the forested piece of land separated from us by the Puget Sound, his eyes wide.

“So that is where babies come from,” he said.  It was not a question, but spoken as fact with the awe one gives to a mystery unraveled.  We let his statement hang in the evening air, neither one of us wanted to break the spell, neither one of us wanting to publically explain the origin of babies.

So yeah, babies come from Vashon Island, in case you were wondering.  I am glad I could clear that up for you.

About Shoes

I am an elementary school teacher, a former microbiologist, a mom to a herd of two boys, and a grilled cheese sandwich and beer connoisseur.
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16 Responses to Babies Come From Vashon Island

  1. I love that story. It’s definitely one to write down for memory’s sake.

    • shoes says:

      Thank you, I rather love this story too. It makes me smile every time I think about it. Husband wants to go exploring on Vashon Island this summer (in the very literal sense) but I am quite happy with two children. 🙂

  2. Nice post – felt like a walk in the park – flowed so smoothly.

    • shoes says:

      Thanks. This post was a present to myself. Yesterday after spending over three hours staring at a computer screen and writing/completing a final reflection paper for my latest class, I needed to write something fun. This story has been knocking around my head since Carter spoke that wonderful sentence so it was easy and joyful to write – took about 20 minutes and was well worth it. Boy do I miss blogging…

  3. I will never think of Vashon Island the same again…or strawberry festivals…great post. Loved the story, well written.

  4. ksbeth says:

    great story and good thing there is no bridge. when he is old enough he can swim or take a boat there )

    • shoes says:

      Very true! He has been thinking about having a little sister, as if he could and does have the power to make that a reality (for in Carter’s mind he can do anything). I should prepare him for disappointment for we will be collecting no more babies from the lovely Vashon Island.

  5. Stephanie says:

    What a wonderful memory to have written about! My husband and I were married for nine years before we had kids. It was actually kind of nice to have that time with just the two of us. Have a great weekend!

    • shoes says:

      I agree. For us it was really nice to have that time together to grow and experience, just the two of us. I love writing about memories such as this, glad you enjoyed it.

  6. Lovely story and great read! Truly a special place and moment with your son now in tow!

    • shoes says:

      Thanks. I think we will wait a year or two before taking the boys to Vashon Island – I don’t want to destroy their image of sweet little babies growing in orderly rows, field upon field, like the strawberries of the past.

  7. jensine says:

    well my dad found me in a banana-peal and my sister in his pint … must be an Irish thing

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