So it's Saturday, and we've got an action packed few days ahead of us. Birthday parties near and far, church duties, basketball games, and the regular chores to always be completed. Like non-farm families, we have to plan and plan again, and some times there are hiccups to deal with.
However, unlike non-farm families, not only did the rescheduling of the first grade basketball game cause a snafu in our timing of birthday party appearances, it also created timing issues for chores.
I realize other families have parents that work during the weekends, so I'm not asking for sympathy, however, because farming, like parenting, is a 24/7, 365 day-a-year gig, we can't just be willy-nilly with our plans. Thankfully, I'm a planner, so this works, but it becomes a source of frustration, as we cannot just show up at events with a moment's notice. There are plans to be made, chores to be completed for the survival of animals and, in the planting and harvesting seasons, positive outcome of the life of our crops.
Thus, our participation in extra-curricular activities is limited. Joe is not around to help shuttle kids here and there, and I hardly have the energy to make dinner at night, let alone four kids in the car to go to a basketball practice in town. Did I mention this practice is for SIX YEAR OLDS??? It's not that important to us, I guess, to make sure that our kids are in everything, all the time.
Don't get me wrong, I, of course, want my daughters and son to be talented, well-rounded kids, but participation in an extensive program at the age of six is not necessary to their survival or future careers. This parenting philosophy is backed up by the fact that our life is one big extra-curricular activity. Rarely are my kids left with nothing to do around here. Joe's job provides them chores, learning opportunities, fresh air, and exercise. That is awesome.
However, we like our kids to be involved (at an age appropriate rate) and deem it important to fulfill our commitments when we're in an activity.
But, we're not able to shuffle around when the game is cancelled and rescheduled...we have too many kids, cattle and crops to make our life as flexible as a 9 to 5er family.
So, we're here, on a Saturday morning, with a tearful child who is unable to participate in her basketball game, as it overlaps with a more important activity, a husband who could have stayed out and completed his chores, instead of just completing the necessary ones, and three other kids who are blissfully oblivious to how life on the farm complicates their future participation in activities.
But, really, who cares? What's more important? A first grade basketball time or bonus time spent together, all in the house, together on a cold Saturday morning?
In my Norman Rockwell picture, I would say the latter of the two, but by hearing the current bickering between the kids, I vote for the activity! Oh well...maybe next Saturday!!