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Coming of Age on the Farm

Farm kids have different milestones than other kids. While Suburban-Dwelling kids may mark growing up with the distance from the house they can travel on their bike or the hour at which they must come home for the evening, country kids find different ways to age.

In our family, the rite of passage surrounds our annual spring pig sale--pigs we sell to 4-H'ers to take to county and state fairs. This event includes trucking over 100 pigs to a neighboring fairgrounds in the morning, spending the day washing and bedding them, and then all evening running the auction.

Last year marked the first year Ryan was allowed to leave with the pigs in the morning, spend all day working, help with the auction all evening and stay up for our 11 p.m. thank you dinner to our helpers. Yes, allowed.

Like past years, little sister Morgan spent the afternoon with her grandma, making an appearance at the sale and then heading back for a sleepover at bed time.

Justin didn't spend the whole day working pigs but got to arrive two hours before the sale, help all evening and even go to the late night dinner (he almost made it). See here how excited he was. (Actually, I've never seen a kid with the ability to ruin a photo like this one can.)

It won't be long until they'll be driving the pigs to the sale themselves; then their father and I will have to go through some milestones. How long til we can make an appearance and then slip out for a sleepover?

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