“NO… please don’t (insert seriously cringed face here)!”
Those were my words when my 14 y/o son casually mentioned at our dinner table that he might want to be a Farmer when he “grows up”.
And that was also when I stopped breathing for a moment.
Farming is a gamble. Gambling is risky, problematic, perilous, insecure, doubtful, uncertain and dangerous!
Could you breathe if this is what your child wanted?!
Alongside much happiness and good health… I want security, certainty, confidence, prosperity, and stability for my children. I want them to have a steady paycheque with benefits. I don’t want them to lose sleep over and worry about the weather. When they’re praying for rain, I hope it’s just for their lawn and garden. When they’re praying for sun, I hope it’s because they’re planning for a BBQ, golf game, or weekend at the lake.
If I want these things for my children, then they shouldn’t be Farmers.
He Grew Up
That dinner table conversation was a few months ago… a time when I still felt like I was raising a boy. Matt’s not a boy anymore, he’s a young man now.
A young man that eats a LOT, can rest his chin on my head, needs an entire new wardrobe, wears size 11 shoes, and has become quite the hard working Farmer this summer.
Yes, that’s my young man out in the field day after day for the past several weeks. He’s not away at camp, at the lake, playing video games, spending time with friends, or telling me he’s bored… he’s making hay so our cattle will have feed this winter… and he hasn’t complained one bit… and on his way back from the hay fields with his Dad… he sleeps very well.
When it Rains, Farmers Play
It’s not all about work for Farmers… when it rains they play.
So… with the rain this week, Matt wasn’t needed in the hay field… so we signed him up for a hockey camp… and as I was driving him and a friend home from one of their lessons the other day, I overheard him telling his friend about all the hay he’s put up this summer. As I listened in on their conversation, I could hear the pride in his voice and words that expressed his enjoyment with all the hard work he’s done this summer. He was happy to tell his friend all about it, and I could see the smile on his face from my rear-view mirror.
I breathed very well at that moment.
Farming is a choice and a passion. Passion is when you put more energy into something than is required to do it. It is more than just enthusiasm or excitement, passion is ambition that is materialized into action to put as much heart, mind body and soul into something as is possible.
We would all breathe very well if that is what our children wanted wouldn’t we?!
I Take That Back
We had almost finished our dinner back on that evening that my boy casually mentioned that he might want to be a Farmer, when I looked him in the eye and said:
“You know what Matt, I take that back.”
“17 years ago I married a Farmer, and I truly couldn’t be happier.” Yes there are many times that we worry, the weather rarely gives us what our crops need, and we are still waiting for that Royal Flush… but, the land that we live on, the air that we breathe, and lifestyle that we live makes up for all of that and more.”
“So whether you’re a Doctor, Plumber, Lawyer, Electrician, Teacher, Writer, Scientist or FARMER (or anything in between) when you grow up, I’ll support you and be very proud of you.”
“And if you do choose to be a Farmer, and get married one day… tell your Farmwife that it will all be OK… actually much better than OK… it will be perfect.”