Sunday, May 18, 2008

What Farm Kids Do for Fun

My children are part-time suburbanites. They get to ride their little bikes on the sidewalk and jump on the trampoline with neighborhood kids who stop by. Thanks to their Friendly Suburban-Dwelling Babysitter, they enjoy the best of life on the cul-de-sac, from the time they arrive at the bus stop, to the time I drag them out of the sandbox in the evening.

But on weekends, and long summer evenings, they revert back to country kids. Where the most exciting thing happening is when our neighbor "Horn," as the kids have dubbed him, brings his tractor over to work in our field. Or maybe if they're real lucky a family with kids will be coming by to pick up some pigs, leaving them to stare in awkward silence while the men load pigs, becoming fast friends seconds before it is time to load back in the truck.

So kids in the country learn to make their own fun. And mothers in the country buy those washers advertised to handle 16 pairs of jeans at once.


Here, Morgan and Justin do the gravel driveway pothole dance, to celebrate all the money we save by never bothering to wash our cars.


Ryan entertains himself and earns extra extra cash by serving as a rubber boot tester for Tractor Supply. They passed!


My country kids and their country cousin even enjoy running around in tall grass, covered with smoke from Great-Grandma's brush pile burn.

But country families don't always stay home. Sometimes we head out on the kind of vacation only a country family could conceive. It involves a road trip, a hotel, a livestock trailer, a barn, and, if you're lucky, some ribbons. Here's Ryan on vacation in Des Moines, with his first place pig he affectionately named "Yorkshire barrow."

Sometimes I worry that my kids will enjoy their suburban days so much they won't want to return to farm life, but then the babysitter reminds me of their favorite pretend activity on rainy days--they play farm.

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