There was nothing special about our decision to visit my dad's farm yesterday, except that everything about it felt special. The shock of my dad moving an hour away to raise animals and play farmer has worn off, and I'm almost comfortable when I pull up to his Winnebago he calls home. Not that living in a motor home is shocking, but to see it with its redneck addition is a site. Redneck addition is what my dad calls the 12x12 room that he built on the side of the Winne that contains his bathroom, shower, laundry room, and full kitchen.
To be honest, I used to not love going up there. It was fun to see my dad have us there, but it's farming-the real version. It's not the cool hipster farming that I had dreamed in my head. He's got smelly pigs, piles of trash to burn, and he hasn't built that pool that he promised me if I gave him grandchildren. As I pulled out of the city yesterday, Starbucks in hand and kids loaded with snacks, I got giddy. I was getting out of town and it felt exciting and calming all at once.
But, enough about me and how I felt. The fantastic thing about this trip to the farm was watching Burl and Fern with the animals. Burl was brave and eager as soon as I opened the car door. He shot into farm life with ease and confidence, and he couldn't move fast enough. I watched him take his bucket to the trough in the field, and he operated smoothly as the cows came closer for the food.
Fern was a different story. She screamed and cried when I first sat her down and the small one-eyed blind dog came around the car. However, things quickly turned around for her. While Burl probably got MVP, Fern definitely gets Most Improved. Within a couple of hours she was petting baby ducks, yelling at the pigs, and chasing chickens.
The real McCoy...hunting for eggs in a coop.
After we fed the cows and pigs, collected eggs, and visited the baby ducks and chickens, we had lunch. My dad made chicken salad on rolls, apple slices, and banana pudding from scratch. It must be noted that the mayo and pudding were made from the eggs from dad's farm. Cause that's how we roll. Lunch was an adventure, and the kids acted like they've never eaten in a Winne before. Oh, but they have.
After lunch, Burl had a few more farmer things to check off his list: feed the cows again, this time with the tractor; look at all the tools; and explore the barn. Fern just toddled around like she owned the place, as she was decked out with a new kind of confidence.
In a world where we're growing more distant from the beginnings of food and animals and life in general, I have to say that it makes me so thankful that my children have this farm at their disposal. While farm animals are still growing on my animal-cold heart, I can tell that Burl and Fern are growing up with an ease and comfort to accepting farm life as normal.
I don't think going to a farm regularly is one of those things that I would say is just great for kids. It's a take it or leave it thing for me, but I might say I'm becoming a believer. Either way, I will say that with kids it is very special.