So today Jack took two steps.
Yes, very exciting. However, if you’re doing math quickly in your head, you probably noticed that he’s a little over 14 months, and in comparison to my other three kids, it’s about four months later than the first kid, three later than the second and two months later than the third.
I know, I know…a mother shouldn’t compare her children to others, especially fourth children to the three other ones, especially seeing as those other three are girls.
However, if you’re like me at all (and if you are…Lord help you!), I’m constantly comparing myself, my kids, my life, my hair, my everything to those around me. Now, I’m not psychotic, Single White Female-ish about it, I just notice others. I wonder. I consider. I marvel. I question. I applaud. I say, “What the heck?”
I’m sorry. I wish I was one of those people who didn’t care about what others were doing, saying, wearing, what their kids did at preschool, didn’t do at tumbling, and could do at the baseball game. I wish I didn’t compare. I do, but I think it’s a sickness or something…
I compare, alright? There, I said it, and admitting it makes it okay, right?
However, I have noticed that I’m not alone in this comparing…this judging as some of you would like to call it, which sounds really harsh and mean, which I would like to think I am not. I just consider it observation, but that’s digressing.
Farmers are just as bad.
They are constantly wondering during planting season who has started. During harvest, who is done is a big concern. Lately, it’s who has received how much rain and when said rain has occurred.
Constant observation, constant wondering, constant comparing.
I have come to realize this from my worry about Jack walking. I know, I know, most kids don’t walk until well over a year, but my other three did. They were happily toddling around at their first birthdays. There was a baby at the hotel last weekend, just 13 months running the hallway. RUNNING! What the heck?
With my boy, I wasn’t alarmed, per se, more thoughtful about it. And today, when Jack took his first few unsteady steps, I was bathed in a sense of relief.
It’s exhausting to be constantly comparing people, places and things. Believe me, I know…I’m about as good at comparing as I am at shopping, and that’s good, ask Joe.
But, in the spirit of comparison, I am seeing that farmers, especially during the tough years, are just as bad as me worrying about Jack’s gross motor skills. They are concerned, constantly questioning, comparing, wondering, observing, and (gasp) judging.
Not only is this year wearing on us by the heat and the drought, but the concern, the worry, and the comparison of other farmers, their ground, their corn, their beans, farmers who are like us, similar in practices and average yields, is wearing on the guys. Our corn growth photo journal we started is now slowing down, as it would in any year, because of the natural cycle of corn growth, but also because it’s kind of depressing. To actually go out and take a picture and compare it to the rest of the pictures we have in our minds from the previous years is hard to swallow right now, partially because of our own feelings, but what would the neighbors say is also in the back of my mind, at least, and I think in the guys’ minds, too.
I can sense it…I’m an expert.
So, as I breathe a sigh of relief that Jack can walk, and will document it in his baby book (I have it on a post-it…with the date, so don’t worry), I will also try to remember that old mantra that I need to repeat.
Because, like teaching a baby to walk, there’s nothing I can do to speed him up or slow him down. He’s a KID…and similarly, the farmers need to realize that some folks get rain, and some don’t, and while we are fortunate, still, we must realize that this is out of our control.
Ugh, I hate that.