Monday, September 10, 2012

Transition Kids to a Farm

We've barely been here a week, but as you can guess the transition is edging towards transitioned.  I think my and my wife's thoughts could fill their own post, so I'd like to update you on how the kids are transitioning.  I think it might be helpful for you if you make a move to the land.

First, we have three kids.  The youngest is a baby who is just starting to realize a world outside of mom's bosom, so he's basically normal.  He may be a little stressed because of the natural stress mom has from moving, but all-in-all he's good.  The older two are two and three.  They're close in age but the approaches to handling their behaviors is very different.

The three year old is detoxing from a world of entertainment.  What I mean is that she is used to days that are mostly spent occupied with keeping a three year old occupied.  We by no means spoil her (ok, maybe I do), but the simple fact of living in an apartment in a suburbanized city is that you really don't have anything for her to do other than be entertained.  Even in an apartment she would have chores when she gets older, but three year olds just can't do much (unless you're on a farm, as we'll see in a moment).  She's a child, so play is natural and good, but here I can already see the difference and even the benefit of the farm.  She's learning responsibility and she already cares.  I can see her learning to think of things outside of and bigger than her own whims. 

For example, we have to feed the chickens and turkeys every morning.  We go get their bowls, clean the water and fill the feed.  Simple, but important.  But my little girl sometimes wants to do something else mid-stream.  She started happy and eager, but now she wants to play inside.  I sat her down and explained to her that just like she has to eat every day and moma gets all the food ready for that, we have to make sure the birds are happy and fed too.  They're in cages (chicken tractors mostly), so we have to bring it to them or they'll be hungry.  She got it and is eager to make sure they are fed.  Bam.  Life lesson on day 6 that probably she and I will remember long from now.  

The two year old boy is a different story.  He's simply not used to this.  His emotions are volatile and you can tell that he's just on edge, even if he's mostly enjoying it.  One of the farm dogs ran up to him the first day and about gave him a heart attack.  Dogs at our last house were barely dogs and were led on a leash with baggy tottin owners staring for signs of unloading.  Its a very different story out here where dogs serve a purpose other than filling the child-void of our culture.  That, along with many other things are just hard for him to understand.  For him, explanations are not needed (as with the older girl), he just needs papa or mama to hold him and let him know that it is indeed very ok.  I'm trying to remind myself that he does not know that all of this is ok.  I may have grown up around tractors and equipment, but he only loves them in books, so its ok that he's scared when a loud diesel engine fires up.  It really is ok.

And for those of you out there that are a bit like him in your thoughts of moving to the land.  Its ok.  It is scary.  But he's learning, because that's the potency of our lives.  We're not trapped, and we do have the potency to be free from anti-culture.  You might feel scared the first time a big farm dog bursts up to you, but you'll get used to it.  My son already has. 


  1. "The three year old is detoxing from a world of entertainment."

    Now that's a quote! Keep it up brother. I am a phone call away if you need anything. Those city folk fools that you write about (me) in DC will help as we can. We love you.. N, A, and Frassati

  2. Praying for you all and those babies...I miss our times.