The value of getting to go
I remember holding our toddler son as he screamed and cried and squirmed about not getting to go with dad. He had just turned one. This had been going on more often than not, and on that morning my husband sighed and said to pack the diaper bag and send him along.
I asked if he was sure, and he replied with, “Yes. If you never take them when they want to go, eventually they won’t want to go at all.”
So it began, with those wise words, that more often than not, our son went. Long days, short days, hot days, cold days; It didn’t matter. When our daughter got old enough to also want to go, my husband started taking both as often as he could while maintaining his sanity.
Some days that means he deals with two fighting kids in a tractor cab. If it’s a dual-person job, one kid will often go with Grandpa, or Grandma, or Aunt Elizabeth. Other days it means I drive to wherever he’s working 30 minutes after he left to get one or both kids. It is far from the easy route. But, long-term I have no doubts it will yield the highest and best results where our kids are concerned.
A couple weeks back, our son was along again to help with haying. Stacking bales with the tractor was the task of that particular day. At the completion of the field, there were three bales that didn’t fit in a stack. As they bumped all the way across the field with the final, lone, bale, my husband told my son that he had sure been helping a lot this year with haying. That, because of all his hard work, he was going to receive the very hay bale they were currently moving to feed his moo (cow) this coming winter.
I heard about the event that evening from a little boy who was practically floating on air, speaking with such excitement my husband had to interpret when he got in the house.
Two weeks later, at four years old, my son still asks almost daily if we can go get his bale and get it home so it is ready to feed his moo this winter.
his drill loaded and everything set, the soil had firmed up enough to plant. The second time he had to wait 45 minutes, then was able to go.
This is a man who went as young boy. A lot. He now farms the same land he went along to help with as a child.
While my husband didn’t see it as anything special, I have since given a lot of thought to what it takes to know, within 45 minutes, wha given field will be ready to plant. Some years it isn’t critical to know within that degree of precision. This year, it means everything. And, while utilizing all he’s learned, he’s simultaneously teaching his potential successors how to make it when they’re faced with this year’s challenges in some distant decade yet to come.
What a bright silver lining in the midst of a challenging year.