Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Waiting to Be Hysterical

Just a little over a week ago we had our first calf, and I thought of a country song's lyrics that say, "There goes my life." While Kenny Chesney is actually talking about his kid, in our busy seasons, I use this song as my mantra in the beginning phases of the craziness.

However, we're still waiting on calf #2.

Joe checks and checks and checks and checks and talks and stews and wonders and frets and is listless and is restless and...

Well, you get the point.

But, we're still waiting.

Waiting for that beloved second calf to come, waiting for the third and fourth and fifth to "drop," waiting for the hysteria to commence.

I'm experiencing deja-vu here, as I was crazily impatient with the births of all of my little ones. Joe, however, refused to panic, and kept telling me in a slightly condescending but always loving tone, "Just be patient. Babies come when they want."

Oh how the tables have turned.

I am the one who's telling him to knock off the craziness and just get in for dinner already. On the mornings when I work out at the crack of dawn, I'm generally greeted with silence and darkness when I ease into the house after my 5AM run or class. Now, I'm met with my guy in Carhartts, ready to bound out the door to do his first check of the day, but not the first in the dark. Joe is a great herdsman, and although he came in just a minute ago defending that he's not just waiting, he is working (well, duh) all the time in preparation for the calves, but while he's working hard outside, readying, checking, hauling grain in the free time, I know he is holding his breath, nervous about the pending births.

Like childbirth, in a blink of an eye, something could go horribly wrong. These lives are not just helping our bottom line and our deep freeze. We consider these beings, well, beings, living, breathing creatures. While there are a lot of folks who will tell you that beef producers and other folks who have livestock as a livelihood are just using these animals as commodities, but I will tell you Joe is a great dad and that translates into an excellent herdsman. There are a lot of things I would do when I was working as a teacher, but getting up in the middle of the night, multiple times, to check on something (anything) for work was never anything I had or desired to do. There is no question what Joe's doing at 11:00 PM and 3:00 AM and then again at 6:00 AM. He's out there, doing what a good cattleman does.

So, we wait. We have plans for this and that, but everything is always pending during this time. There's no tarrying when we do go time for chatting at coffee time at church when there's calves, or the impending birth of said calves to check.

So, I'll drink my coffee at home and wait to be hysterical.

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