There is a fairly strict routine on a farm. There is a laundry list of chores, spanning from twice a day attention to once a year, but they are all important. Last week we had our three-year-old grandson here for a visit. I was able to look at farm life from a different perspective; I saw it through him. I was able to see the positive impact of exposure to this lifestyle.
“Sun’s up, I’m up” is a phrase that my oldest son only began using once he matured and realized that sleeping until noon was counter productive. He was raised a “city” boy so rolling out of bed at lunchtime was no big deal. But when living on a farm, that phrase is our religion. Hell, it’s not like the roosters are going to let us sleep in anyway!
During our grandson’s visit Steve and I tried very hard to quietly head out in the barely dawn hours. We would tiptoe through the kitchen in an attempt to allow our daughter, grandson and baby granddaughter to sleep. No matter how stealth-like we were, our grandson Bracy, would hear the click of the door and make a mad dash out to us. In his haste to get outside as quickly as he could so he wouldn’t miss anything, he showed up naked every morning……well almost naked, he at least had the good sense to slip on his shoes. I would hear him in the distance yelling, “I am Bracy and I am a naked farmer”. I had to give him props for coming up with a very logical reason why he was running through the field at the break of dawn in the altogether. Logic would dictate that a naked farmer wears no clothes so it was totally okay that he skipped that step before rushing outside to find us.
What impressed me the most though was Bracy’s dedication to the process. He was able to appreciate and understand the importance of what had to happen and when. He knew that breakfast was consumed only after the chickens and guineas had been tended to. Bracy understood that whatever chore was undertaken, it had to be completed before moving on. At three years old, this child was able to understand the connection between the earth and our existence. We depend on the crops, eggs and chickens to sustain and nourish us, therefore, hard work and dedication are essential.
It dawned on me that most children have no idea where their food comes from or the process involved in providing them fruits, veggies and meat. I believe most children can’t see beyond the grocery cart. To be able to share the process with our grandson on such a micro level was pretty awesome. To watch Bracy gingerly hold an egg like the treasure that it is, to watch him proudly raise the most perfect orange pepper high in air after picking, to witness the kindness and tenderness as he held one of the laying chickens close to his chest, to hear him at the dinner table thanking the field for his meal…….incredible.
I know the week was truly special for Bracy as well because he stopped calling this place Pop’s and Mormor’s farm and started referring to it as “Bracy’s farm”. He can visit anytime he wants…….clothing optional of course!