It wasn't the first day that the chickens had gotten out but it was the first day the chicken tractor collapsed when the jack broke and the first day that our kids didn't get breakfast until almost noon. I wouldn't have chosen for my kids to be so hungry but in the scheme of things it's not all bad and I think more kids these days should have the opportunity to work hard, even if it means waiting on breakfast until all the chickens are back and safe within their fence.
Later I taught my kids a lesson. Something along the lines of the chickens are in the fenced area with food and shelter and water because that is the safest area for them to be. Likewise, mommy and daddy have rules for you to follow because we want you to be safe and we know what is best for you. Venture out of the
fence rules and you will be some coyote's dinner. More or less. I think they got it though and they will most likely never break any of our rules. So I am glad that we all had that experience.
Then there was the day that the pig got out of the fence. While I was in the garden harvesting corn on the cob I could hear the pig snorting and it sounded as if he were right beside me. Come to find out he was right beside me, beneath the apple tree eating not only the apples but branches and leaves as well. Better those then Emmett's shoe I guess which he later tasted only to find dissatisfying.
Being the confident, get in and get dirty, farmer that I am I quickly grabbed my two year old and ran to my house to find my cell phone and call my ever ready reinforcement, the real farmer, to come help me. He was on his way home anyway which was helpful and sure enough, without really even sweating it, Jeff saved the day with a stick he guided Wilbur back into the pen. I called my brother and then a girlfriend while I waited for him to come home figuring that if the pig attacked me someone would hear and get help so even if my life was taken, Gage's would be spared.
And that, you might think, is life right now. And it is. And it's wonderfully fun and entertaining and tiresome. But the real life, the one that weighs on my heart, is the one that accounts for the little chicks that I have here in the home. My little nest with my four little peeps that if I could I would just probably sit on for the rest of their long lives. Not really, of course. But with school starting this past week and our momma hen hatching 5 little chicks, I have been teasing my kids about being a momma hen myself.
"Look at momma! She's tearing the french fries so that each little baby chick can have a small bite," they notice and I tell them that that's what momma's do.
Braxton has surprised me that most with how concerned he is for momma. He was the one who found the hatched chicks first because he had been checking on momma and he heard the first peeps. Then after school he ran from the bus stop that day to see momma and hopefully one or more of the chicks.
But I am not a hen and my kids are not chicks and I don't know if that makes things easier or harder but I know it makes this life better and fuller. Momma hen thinks she has it good because her chicks enjoy the french fries she gives them but I know I have it better because I get to see them hope and dream and become good people. People who care about each other. People who care about themselves. People who are anxious to get out and experience all there is out there in the big world including a new school, new friends, Kindergarten, riding the school bus, playing tackle football.... and the list goes on. Momma hen doesn't get to take a tub with her one baby who is still at home during the day. She doesn't hear him say to her, "I am a big, nice, human shark!" as he splashes her and dunks under the water. Momma hen doesn't get to hear the voices from the back of the bus hollering, "Braxton, back here," as her 4th grader gets on the bus to find teammates in the back wanting him to sit by him. She doesn't get to see the smile of her daughter on day two of school when she made a friend and her expression went from uneasy to excited to go back. And lastly, that momma Hen has never taken her little cherub to Kindergarten only to have him look at her with eyes that go all the way to her heart, and confidently say, "mom, please can I ride the bus home instead of you picking me up?"
They are not chicks and I am not a hen, but man do they have wings that are spread wide and man is it joyfully uncomfortable to sit back and watch them fly.
FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL!
KINDERGARTEN, 2ND GRADE, 4TH GRADE
NEW SCHOOL CLOTHES FOR THE BOYS
FROM OUR OWN PUMPKIN PATCH! HOPEFULLY THEY STAY GOOD UNTIL OCTOBER!
MY BIG KINDERGARTNER
JUST A LITTLE TERRITORIAL
GOOD JOB LADIES, 323 EGGS
AND GOOD JOB ME! THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU COLLECT THE EGGS. THEY ALL COME UP AND PECK AT YOU!
BRAXTON HELPS HIS MOMMA OUT
WAITING FOR THE SCHOOL BUS
THIS MOMMA HEN HATCHED HER OWN LITTLE FLOCK
PIGS ARE FATTENING UP NICELY IN THE BACK
THE FARMER JUST PUT IN 240 FEET OF WATER LINE.
LIKE A BOSS
NOW WE HAVE WATER TO THE BARN AND TO THE GARDEN!!