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.
School is out for the summer, and while we have camps and a few fun outings planned, most of our summer is full of work on the farm.
This week was a juggle of childcare so I got to take the boys out for a few hours to work with me. We checked a few (very tall) tall fescue fields and headed out to a newly planted orchard to count trees. We planted a number of new baby hazelnut trees this past winter, and most are looking great, but there are a few dead ones that will need to be replanted.
So Hoot, Auggie and I headed out to do some tallying. A skill Auggie was very proud to have learned this year in kindergarten.
This spring and moving now into summer has been a struggle with the weather and rising costs. It’s a very uneasy time to be a farmer with all that has hit us this year that is out of our control. But it’s also just really amazing to get to be outside, teaching your kids all about what you love to do and seeing how much they love it also!
Someday these summer workers will be full time around here….probably (as I’m told often) before I know it!