Friday, June 10, 2011

Excitement and Exhaustion

My hair stylist asked me if Joe ever didn’t have a busy time. I had to think about it. After pausing for a moment, my question was answered by Anna.
“Birthdays,” she said, with great confidence.

She’s right. There isn’t a definite time that Joe isn’t busy with something. Right now, there’s hay being baled and also chopped. Men in tractors pulling wagons that resemble freight train cars have been running up and down our road between the hay fields and the bright blue Harvestor, where the chopped hay will be stored. It couldn’t be a busier day.

After explaining to our stylist that Amelia’s birthday was coming up and Daddy promised to be home with us that evening, I got to thinking about times when Joe’s not busy. I guess mid-December, and possibly August are times when there isn’t a lot of pressing, weather dependant, labor and delivery-ish chores to be completed. I don’t know. We’ve never taken the time to truly get away from the farm for me to know whether or when we could actually get away for a week or two.

I think our stylist’s question stemmed from the fact that I was two and a half weeks out from delivering Jack, but still showed up for our appointment with all four kids in tow, three of them in desperate need of hair cuts. Fortunately, Jack just slept peacefully in his car seat. I see his plans for the summer…and a lot of them include sleeping in a car seat or a baby sling while we tend to our activities. My grandma and Joe’s grandma are horrified that we have already had Jack out and about, but like a working livestock farm, mothering has no off-season. Life marches on, and the little dude has to march along with us.

Whether it’s farming or parenting, it’s exciting and exhausting. In fact, I have written that quite a bit in thank you notes for the meals and generous gifts I have received in honor of our new addition. While it’s exhausting to get up at four a.m. with a newborn who has no interest in sleeping, it’s exciting to me to have this little time with him, alone, in a quiet house. I have taken to just getting up for the day at this time, enjoying the quiet solitude and coffee that doesn’t have to be microwaved at least three times. Joe is the same way. Take today, for example, as exhausting as it will be to have been going since six a.m., running up and down the road, working to beat the impending rain and out in the 90 plus degree heat, he wouldn’t have it any other way. He’s miserable when there’s not something beating down on him. He was a “get-it-done at crunch time” deadline guy in his corporate world, and was a procrastinator and then crammer during his college studying days. Why would farming be any different? He’s exhausted, but excited at the same time.

My hope during this time and phase of our lives that we maybe figure out a time when there’s not hay to be put up, a cattle sale to attend, or a baby being born (we’re done with that, by the way), and we could potentially stop the exhaustion part and get to the excitement…maybe in 20 years, right? My youngest will be in college.


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