As a farm mom I’ve been taking my kids to work with me for a very long time, 9 years to be exact. We have a lot of childcare help but there is also a lot of time that they are with me. Moving to the actual home place this past year helped immensely, but it’s still a struggle sometimes to have kiddos in tow while you’re trying to work. Just the other day Millie got to come get fertilizer with me when school was unexpectedly cancelled.
But then a few days ago, I must have blinked or something because instead of wrangling three kids under four while trying to get something done; I walked into the house, asked the oldest to come help us move equipment, kissed the other two and headed out to get a job done.
It was a quick job, move stuff out of the field that got planted the day before, but having our son Hoot out there to give us a hand was super helpful and made for a much quicker turn around. It’s not the first time he’s helped and his brother Auggie is a close second to being on the very helpful end. Millie is….well I have no doubt that she will also sneak up into the the helpful category before I know it.
There is a part of me that I know will not avoid the “you’re gonna miss this” of those toddler raising days; but in this moment I was just really proud that we’ve gotten this far.
We have an old boat. It was recovered years ago from the side of the road where someone had (so generously) left it near our property. My husband and I saw just “an old abandoned boat”, while our kids saw a pirate ship just needing some attention before she hit the high seas. Since I’m writing this blog we all know who won that debate.
So a short haul down the road, a lot of pressure washing, and this old gal has over the years been the center of many adventures. She’s caught salmon on the Pacific, fought off pirates near the Caribbean, and yachted through the Panama Canal. However with all these adventures under her belt, she had yet to actually get in any real water.
With all the rain this winter, the call to get her out on the sea was too much. Our kids saw that flooded bottom ground below the farm and it had to happen. So with waders on and a little prayer we launched that old pirate ship in the ditch below the farm. And to all our amazement the dang thing actually floated! Not one leak!
It was a great afternoon. Captain Hoot could have stayed all day with first mate Auggie, deck hand Dad, a few fair maidens (Millie & her cousin Addison) and boat dog Booker aboard.
The original idea was to finish out her first sail with a sleep out under the stars, but with temps still near freezing at night even an imagination as big as these farm kids have wasn’t enough to convince mom that was ok. Maybe next year…..
This flooded ditch below the farm holds a lot of adventurous memories for me as a kid and now they are all starting over with the next generation.
I love their imagination, I love how they make things happen and never think “well we can’t do that.” And I’m very certain that someday they will sleep out under the stars in their pirate ship; another adventure of many down the road that our farm kids get to dream up.
We got some snow on the valley floor in Oregon just last week! We don’t get this “white stuff” very often around here, so even when it’s just a tiny itsy little bit…..it’s a giant colossal big deal to our kids. Late school start and it didn’t take long for the three of them to gear up, knock the dust off their sleds and head out for a hill to sled down.
Also another update, we moved to the home place! Which means, yes, I now live in the same house that I grew up in (no it’s not weird, don’t make it weird!). We switched houses with my parents so they live off the farm for the first time in 40 years and we are back on the farm raising the next generation.
It’s been so great to be here, through harvest and starting school again, the holidays, and getting back into the swing of the upcoming spring season. It has taken a little getting used to, like any big move, but the kids love it and I love being here and more helpful even when the kids are home.
Plus we are on a much less busy road and so we added a new family member this fall….Booker the Border collie. He’s super smart, except when he’s being super dumb, and he’s been a great companion for all of us.