I feel a deep sense of pride when my children work and play with their father, uncle, grandfather, and each other at the farm.
My heart fills up to the brim, on those days when I drop them off in the field to meet a truck, or pull up along side the bunk and watch them hop into the pack tractor.
It’s work, but it’s play.
It all started in the sandbox, their working together (while playing) building roads, plowing fields and digging. I remember watching little Tyler, standing so stiff and still as he gazed intently up into the barn yard from the sandbox, watching everything that was going on. Turning, he would then go back to Jakey with a direction. And Jakey, would willingly take it from his older brother.
Work or play? It was the same at ages 5 and 3.
They couldn’t wait to get up there themselves, and work, with the rest of the family.
Children work and help parents in other businesses too, but I don’t think it’s the same as in farming. With agriculture, it is different. It’s about the family connection and the love of the land that makes it special. Working the family land, making family money. Forward progress.
It’s looking out over a mowed field and glowing in accomplishment…together.
It’s nodding to your uncle as you pass him in a loaded truck 15 times in a day. Exchanging observations with Grampa as he climbs up into the tractor with you for a moment.
It’s looking forward to the lunch that Nama will make and drop off to you. She always makes the best lunches, Mom!
As a mother, it’s the piece of mind and comfort in knowing that they are all working together, and they have each others’ back, every day.
To be honest, sometimes the lines get completely blurred between the work and the play, fooling and laughter spills into an exasperated sigh or shake of the head. Maybe even a roll in the barnyard to sort things out. No one really knows exactly which side of the line the activity falls on in many given moments. And emotionally the atmosphere can change on a dime.
But the tasks at hand beckon everyone back, and a hot day ends with a big jump in the water hole at Lee’s Crossing. Fun and laughter. Work and play.
Work and play, work and play. It is still one in the same at ages 18 and 16, 41 and 46.
Farming is like a canvas, where work and play are in a constant continuum, running parallel with each other all the time.
And how blessed that I am to observe it in my children. I love it!
What more could a parent ask for?