I have to admit that I grew up in town and loved every minute of it. I suppose it helped that my house was less then a block away from the swimming pool, there were four of us the same age, my backyard neighbors had a playhouse, and we had an empty lot on a dead end street that became a regular place for softball and kick the can games. It created some of the best memories and friendships of my life.
But know that I am raising my own family, I have to say growing up on a farm is pretty amazing for my kids. I may sometimes complain to my husband about his long hours, how he always has something to do, and grumble a little about feeding calves in the dark in the morning and evening this time of year, but when I stop to think about it my kids are gaining so much.
Because I have always been a fan of the Top 10 List, but I also like odd numbers (my wedding started at 3:08) here are 11 reasons why it's a benefit for my kids to grow up on a farm.
1. Going on a kitty hunt
I recently had the joy of following my girls around the barn in search of two small kittens that had found a home behind the milking parlor. We pointed and coaxed patiently for them to come see us.
It produced a lot of giggles and stories about why the kitties were hiding from us.
2. Exploring the hay mountain (as my 5 year old calls it)
Bailing hay and straw are probably among the jobs I look least forward to on the farm, (I am kind of a wimp) but my daughters thinking filling up the hay mountain is an amazing experience. They especially love climbing the bails and exploring all around.
3. Feeding a baby calf
I may get frustrated the first time, when it hasn't quite got the hang of drinking from a bottle yet, but after that it is a pretty rewarding job.. It gets even more interesting when the bottle is finished but the calf is still hungry and begins to suck on your fingers!
4. Driving the 4wheeler or combine in the field
I have never heard so much excitement come from my daughters stories as from those about driving the farm equipment with their dad. Their faces light up as they explain every detail about pushing the throttle or steering the wheel.
5. Rides on tractors
My oldest daughter has been riding since she was four months old, my middle daughter will follow her dad around waiting for a ride, and my youngest daughter knows when it's time to go stand by the tractor to get her ride. There must be a great view from the seat of daddy's knee.
6. A red heeler as part of the family
She may mistake you for a cow every now and then by nipping at your heels, but you will not find anyone tougher or more protective yet still fun and loveable. She loves her belly rubbed and wants in on the game of catch.
7. A journey down the lane
The best time to watch this is when my girls come home from school. You can hear them chatter about their day or what they plan to do with the rest of it. It is also a bike trail/raceway or a journey to the mailbox.
8. The snow drifts
I am sure these are my husbands least favorite, but it still warms my heart to bundle up with the girls and explore the drifts or use them as a sledding hill. A cup of hot cocoa and giggles is a great way to warm up after.
9. Wide open spaces to explore and imagine
The other day I found my two oldest girls inside the boat we store for my nephew 'fishing' off the side and 'floating' down the river. We also have enjoyed voyages around the hay field to games of eye spy as we explore.
10. Observe the life cycle in action
My girls have set glued to the gate watching their daddy pull a calf and traveled on the skid loader to help bury a calf who was not strong enough to make it. And every summer we attempt a garden with different vegetables we want to see grow from seeds to plants. I also remember a friend who grew up on a farm telling me how her and her brother used to pull up a five gallon bucket to sit on and bet on if the piglets would be boys or girls!
11. See how hard work accomplishes many things
Even though my husband and I sometimes argue about this. I believe kids should enjoy being kids and he has been helping on the farm since he could walk. But our kids do help with chores and see how hard their daddy works everyday to make the farm work and continue the work his mom and dad started.
The 'tail' end - Share some special things about where you raise your kids!
Below is the Dodge commercial that makes me so proud my husband is a farmer -