My little hobbit is all grown up. Soon, he'll be leaving for college, marrying his high school sweetheart, and having children of his own.
Owen has been such a joy to have in our lives, and as you'll find many parents saying, it's almost impossible to imagine our life before him! Isn't that wonderful? How each child can make your life feel so complete in their own unique way?
Georgia was never much of a snuggly baby. I remember pushing her head onto my shoulder to force her to give me a hug. Frankly, she's kind of still that way. Ms. Independent, that one. But Owen is quite the opposite, often leaning on his Mama's shoulder just for the joy of it. He'll rub his face into mine, grab cheeks for giving kisses, and seek us out just for affection. Aww. A boy after my own heart.
I feel very blessed to have been able to nurse Owen exclusively for the past year and though I anticipated doing it for a bit longer, just yesterday, he decided that he was done. And that was that.
Did I cry? Eh. Maybe a smidge.
But it's hard to be sad after a year of easy and successful breastfeeding. I never had to worry about what foods I ate and how it would affect him. We've never had any problems with colic or reflux, nor any allergies of any kind. I'd like to think it's from taking cod liver oil, soaking/sprouting all our grains, taking in lots of probiotic rich foods, drinking lots and lots of raw milk, eating tons of fatty, red, meat, downing at least three pastured eggs daily, and including TONS of organic vegetables (especially dark greens!) in our diet (and yes, the same diet for baby!). But who knows. Maybe, we've just been very blessed with this one!
Though Georgia was the same way. Great nurser, very healthy, and an extremely easy eater.
I'm not a Doctor, nor do I pretend to be. And on top of that, I believe that the Lord works continually and completely in all our circumstances. Even in things as small as food allergies or breast feeding. That being said, I really do feel blessed as we celebrate little man's first birthday to have had such a fantastic year of health and happiness with him.
Except for the teething poo. You know, that yellow, frothy, horribly stinky poo? Well, as big of an advocate as I am for cloth diapering, until Owen stops having at least six poopy diapers a day, I've invested in a few disposables. I sure don't mind washing cloth diapers. But six poopy diapers a day? Come on now. Ain't nobody got time for that.
I'm thankful that we've been mindful enough to invest so heavily in our children's health thus far. It's not always easy (it took us a few flavors of cod liver oil to find one that they'd take!) and I'm still looking for ways to sneak liver into food that everyone can stomach, but overall, investing in their health is such a fantastic way to invest in their future.
It's also been fantastic to see how Georgia (Owen's a big young yet) has taken to life on the farm and how she is already gaining a deeper understanding of her food source. For example, when I accidentally killed a chicken last summer, we brought it in to clean and skin it for supper. She stood watching on the stool, amazed at it all and asking all sorts of questions. When Stuart cracked a joke, she looked at him sternly and explained “Daddy, it's not funny when a ticken dies. It's bery serious.”
And as we worked through butchering our meat chickens this past weekend, the kids were once again connected very closely to it all, though they may not understand why we choose to raise our own organic, pastured meat or why we take the effort to plant and maintain our gardens. To them, it's more fun than necessary to collect the daily eggs from the coop or watch as Stu or I milk Sal each morning and night. But as Georgia confesses, “Mmm! Mama, I lub cow milk!”. And for now, that's good enough.
We're planting seeds in our children.
The utmost of importance, of course, is planting the seeds of belief, faith, love, and fear of the Lord our God and Redeemer.
But on top of raising our children in a Christian home, we also get the unique opportunity to teach them skills and a way of life that can only enhance and enrich this life we've been given. Like it or not, our children have (and will continue to have) chores as they grow. They'll have hands on participation in our farm life. They'll learn to grow their own food, process their own animals, make their own cheese, and milk a cow.
They'll get to taste fresh apples right from the tree. And eggs that were laid just a few minutes prior.
They'll know how the freezing morning air feels on their cheeks.
They'll get to experience the pain, and profit, of hard work.
Our traditional-foodie-farmish lifestyle isn't for everyone. Nor does it need to be. But today, I feel very, very, very blessed to get to be living it each day. Especially with Stu, Princess Georgia and the Hobbit by my side.