Teach ’em young

My Poppa (Maternal Grandfather) has short term memory loss. He’s always in pain. Doesn’t remember a new person. Doesn’t remember to put on clean clothes. (But my Dad says he never did before anyways!)

But…he is the only one who can tell my three sisters and I apart on the phone, first try

When Cowboy and I told him and my Grandma I was pregnant,(and 16) he got up right away, gave me a big hug, and said, “Well you know we’ll be behind you 100% of the way”.

Isn’t that crazy how a man who has forgotten the social courtesy of only taking one scoop at a potluck,

Can know exactly what to tell his 16-and-pregnant granddaughter?

Poppa’s Dad taught him many things. One, was that a job worth doing, was a job worth doing right the first time. Another, is to teach children how to do things young. Poppa’s Dad may have stretched that a bit, seeing as he was milking a few cows before breakfast on his way to kindergarden, but I think there is something to be said for how much we coddle our children.

Because we have a hobby farm, we are always encouraging families to bring their children to come try their hand at milking, collecting eggs, riding the horse (When we had one).

Mac has been collecting eggs since he could hold an object in his hand. Just ask him “Want to go to Minnies and collect eggs?” He lights up and smiles nodding his head.

Mac has been in the garden since he was days old. From being in the sling helping Daddy pick veggies for a snack, to helping me plant when he could barely crawl. He’s a mean weeder. Emphasis on the mean. (He doesn’t know the difference between plant and weed!) I know this year at 1 1/2, he’ll be starting to get the hand of things. My Grandma said that her oldest daughter was really good at plucking off the tulip heads. Sure she stopped her, but only from picking the heads off, never from being in the garden. That daughter to this day, has a love for gardening. All her daughters do! (5!)

Today I grabbed my 9 month old niece when we were at my Moms house. Cowboy was heading to milk while Mac and I were going to collect eggs. Amy came along because being exposed to these things young is fantastic. And, homegirls always up for a cuddle with her Auntie!

She watched eagerly as I collected eggs out of the nesting boxes and Mac ran around checking the feed and water and chickens. Then, we went up to where Cowboy was milking and I set them both to sit down on a sapling that’s tied between two trees holding up the milking stansion. (Where the cows head goes through when milking, not that our cow ever does, but she’s so patient!). Mac LOVES to watch Daddy milk, and Amy stared the whole time, not fussing once, just amazed at what he’s doing.

(Look at her determination!)

THESE are the things I want to expose my children to. Not violent TV, not junk food, not families never spending time together. I want them to see where there food comes from, to know how to get it from the dirt or animal to their plate. To have a connection to what they’re eating and appreciate God’s blessing of abundance in every meal we have.

You say Why take extra time doing chores or making dinner, when you could do it faster on your own?

You say Why should you take the time to call up a local farmer to see if your children can check out their animals?

You say Why bother growing one pot of tomatoes, strawberries, cucumbers or lettuce on your teensy patio-porch-deck?

I say Why Not include your children in real, hands on education that goes back farther than any school district or one room school house.

This is their homegrown education.

This stuff goes back to the farmyard baby. To the homestead with a log house.

That’s where all the fun happens anyways.

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