My girls left for school just a few minutes ago, and while it's great to know that they are loving it, and admittedly, I am loving having just the two little ones, a schedule to keep, and less people to feed at lunch, yesterday, I was anxious before the bus came.
Standing at our big windows in our family room, I watched over the top of the corn for the dust to roll, signifying the bus's arrival.
Our traffic pattern allows us to notice cars traveling our road by the amount of dust that is atop the corn...I know, a glamorous and fancy way of seeing who's coming and going. Not only does dust signify a car or bus or tractor, but we also note who and what is traveling on our road by the sound that is made. Different rumblings signify different vehicles and visitors, and Jack's chubby finger pointing and a "Papa" often times means the rumbling of the wheels is something big.
Cattle notice this too.
Just this morning, as I was enjoying the peace of two occupied children, two children on the bus and the Today Show, I heard the rumbling of the trailer, Joe's livestock trailer. It was empty (I know by the sound...and aren't I getting good???), thus made a really hollow, really loud sound. He used the trailer yesterday to move the calves from their mamas in order to wean them. I tend to sympathize with the cattle during two times, calving and weaning. We have a connection as mothers, and when I saw the cattle start to run to the gate, following the rumbling of the trailer, my heart sank.
They're looking for their babies.
Those poor mothers have bawled all night, looking, calling, waiting for their babies.
Seeing the mama cow run to the gate this morning made me feel so sad for her, but don't take this as a post that is meant to make you feel like calves should nurse forever. They shouldn't. Joe is a good cattle man, and this is the best way for our animals to wean and prep to become mothers and replacement heifers for the next calving season.
This mama's waiting made me realize that although it's hard and strange and scary to let your kids/calves go, it's necessary. Even though Josie is small and slight and five, she's on the bus, making friends, exercising her independence. Anna did the same, and she is so strong and confident when it comes to school and other unfamiliar and new experiences, I learn from her how to just go in, be confident and do your own thing.
The calves are doing the same thing. While the mothers will spend a few days waiting and worrying, the calves, although a bit confused, are playing at cow school. They're hanging with their friends, enjoying the crisp morning, and will some day be reunited with their mothers. They're receiving good feed, good grass, water, and plenty of space to graze, and the mother is just basically worried because that's what we mothers do. We run to the gate when we hear a rumble. We worry at lunch time that our little ones can open their yogurt without spilling. We wait at the window, watching for dust.
This waiting is all done in the name of love.
It's different with mothers. We're more emotional. We're more sentimental. Thus, I am glad that I am not the one sorting and moving calves from their mothers. It's a natural and normal thing to do. It has to be done. Just like school has to start, calves have to be weaned. The calves may be confused, and the mothers concerned, but, in the end, they'll be okay.
That is a truth that I should remember as I watch for the dust roll in this afternoon.