Well, it's coming, ready or... well, I'm ready. I am just a few weeks from the big delivery of our fourth and final child, a son. I am just as excited and uncomfortable as most of my other kids' pregnancies (sans Anna's, since I had NO CLUE, and no other kids to chase after!). However, all through this pregnancy, we have fielded the same question time and again:
Is your husband excited to finally get his boy?
Answer: Yes (to those in Target who are looking at me like I'm a fool, as I tool around the store in the gigantic cart filled with kids and paper products).
However, the answer to those who are closer to us is: Well...
Shouldn't we be happy with what God already blessed us with: Three beautiful, smart, and healthy girls? Shouldn't Anna's love for the farm, as well as Josie's and Amelia's budding farm-girlness suffice for a farmer? Shouldn't the farm be a part of all of them, regardless of the gender of each child?
Answer: YES, yes, and YES!
We are so, so blessed. We are so, so lucky, and we are so, so excited to have our boy, however, in my short time as a farm wife, I am seeing the roles farm women play in their operations that are just as big, if not bigger, than their husbands. I am shocked at how easy farm life and the love of animals come to my eldest daughter, and know that she will, no matter where she is in life, always have a strong work ethic and a stack of life lessons that far outweigh those learned in a classroom. I am surprised at how Josie, our girliest (thus far) is so excited when baby calves are born, wanting to pet them, care for them, and love them. I know that she may not seem to be as comfortable with the down and dirty details of it all (however...she's FOUR, mind you), but I know that her experience as a farm girl will be embedded in her strong little personality. Even our littlest, just shy of two years old, loves to wear her boots when she checks cows with Dad. She too is growing up in an environment that makes me so happy to overlook the dustiness of our road and the craziness of our schedules. She is able to run and play and watch the miracle that is life and growth right out in her backyard.
And, I'm excited for this little guy. What will he be like? Will we dress him in John Deere green, cowboy boots, and Carhartts? Yes. Will he receive tractors and cows and barns and other manly, farmy gifts for years? Of course! But, will we pin all of our family's hopes on the farm to continue on his little shoulders, no. I have learned, just watching Joe as a parent to his girls that they are to glean the good stuff from his lessons on the farm and apply it to whatever they do, where ever they do it. They are to respect the land and its beasts, as well as those who work it, and if they decide to follow in his footsteps, fine. If not, fine. Just be a good person, be kind to others, do your best, and work hard.
Those are lessons that you can't find just anywhere, and I am so lucky to be married to someone and in a place where my kids can get this firsthand.