The kids were upset this morning that they had to be born into a homesteading family. Apparently that 6:15 wake up call came a bit too early for their taste. Stuart and I had already been up milking and tending to the livestock – a cup of coffee deep into the work of the day – and thus, didn't share (or at least were numb to) their laments. The fact remains that we are a family where summer days don't always mean lazy days, lounging in the summer sun lakeside. More often than not, around these parts, our summer days are spent franticly pulling weeds before they go to seed, bucking hay in the heat of the day as we built up the winter stores, and prepping various fruits and vegetables for preserving. Dog days of summer? Forget-about-it. We are working and we are working hard.
There's much we do not and cannot control about our children's lives. But when they think of their childhood, I hope they remember the days we spent by the lake and the days that we labored together in the gardens – being productive, storing up provisions for our sustenance.
What I love is that after we harvest, they're elated. Owen proclaimed today that there wasn't a better way to start the day than harvesting tomatoes. This, of course, coming just an hour after he'd reluctantly drug himself to the gardens, still in his stripped pajamas.
Gardening and parenting an be equally frustrating and at the end of the day, you're often left throwing your hands up to the heavens (whether in regard to your children or to your vegetable patch) and shouting with desperation “Help me, Lord!”. Both require such a great deal of faith that the effort will bring harvest and both require that same faith when things go terribly awry (which they do).
So when a moment of joy arrives with a child in the garden, reaping a literal harvest none-the-less, it's the perfect opportunity to throw your hands up to the heavens and shout “Thank you, Lord!” for this moment of bounty. In both regards.