Maybe it’s the three-day weekend, the agricultural fairs, the time spent in the apple orchard with my mom, or visiting my grandfather in the corn field today. Or maybe it’s the pregnancy. Whatever it is, I’ve been daydreaming a lot lately.
I’ve been dreaming about the type of life I want to give to our children. Not things, but experiences.
I want our children to spend time outside in all the seasons. Making maple syrup and planting the garden in spring. Swimming all day long in the summer. Hayrides, pumpkins and apple picking in fall. Snowmen, sledding and pond skating in winter.
I want our children to grow up around animals. I want them to know how to treat and behave around dogs, cows, horses, pigs, chickens and turkeys. I want them to learn to drive a hayride, train a dog, and milk a cow. I want them to collect eggs and taste fresh honey.
I want our children to value family, traditon and the Earth. Learn our family histories and the value of working together as a family. I want them to appreciate and respect nature and wildlife.
I want our children to enjoy learning, both in and out of school. I want them to escape into a world of stories, feel the satisfaction in solving a difficult math problem, and learn to appreciate the wonders of the natural world. I want our children to have the confidence to try to solve real problems in their daily lives. I want them to learn and value the skills it takes to grow and preserve their own food and be self-sufficient.
I had been getting down on myself, wondering how I could ever provide all of these opportunities to our children on our two little acres. Fortunately, we don’t have to do it alone. Our families do all of these things, which is how Ed and I had all of these experiences in our own childhoods.
A few days ago, I read “Is it a Farm Yet?” and was inspired. I realized that our two little acres can do a lot toward providing these experiences that I so want for our children. We don’t have to do it all, and we don’t have to do it all at once.
So as I dream about getting a pair or trio of laying hens (and maybe, possibly a duck), adding peaches, nectarines, plums, cherries and pears to our little apple orchard, getting a dog when the children are old enough to take care of him and Dukie’s old enough not to be jealous, and someday in the far-off future building a barn and greenhouse, I am slowly but surely reaching toward the life that I want to provide for my children.