Me: “Get your boots and jackets on! We’re going outside to work!” Miss Lady: “What are we going to be working on?” Me: “We’re going to be getting the stove out for cooking down the maple sap.” Miss Lady (jumping up and down): “YAAAYYYYY! Maple syrup time! Maple syrup time!”
That’s a proud homestead parenting moment right there!
Recently, there have been a lot of those. It took some of the kids awhile to really get into the change in lifestyle over to homesteading. Finding out we were pregnant with E right before we move didn’t exactly make things easier, since it seemed that my attention was splintered into millions of little pieces, and I knew that nothing was getting the attention that it should.
Pumpkin liked the new house and the land, but he sort of withdrew into himself, and has only recently been coming back out. For Peanut it was a natural change, one he adapted to quite well. Miss Lady did pretty well, though our first year here she missed our old swing set and sandbox sorely. Doodles has adapted pretty well, seeing as he was just barely 2 when we moved in. The only problem being that he was so young and just could not help out much at such a young age. E was born after we moved in, so he’s never known anything different, and he loves everything that we do, especially if it is outdoors. Since I have a back carrier for him, he is more capable of being involved in all that we do than Doodles was, and he quite enjoys his little excursions on my back.
Pumpkin has finally truly begun to come around. As the seed catalogs began filtering in, he would sit next to me as I flipped through the pages. Soon he was taking the catalogs and plunking down on the couch, exclaiming with excitement each time he found a vegetable or flower that piqued his interest. I gave him a pen and some paper and asked him to start planning his own garden. “Make a list! We might not be able to plant everything you want, but if you make a list, we can at least have a plan for what you want.”
Well, this sparked the interest of the other kids, and soon, everybody was coming up with their planting lists. Pumpkin, however, got the most excited. “Mom?” he said. “Could we build a greenhouse for me this year?”
“Sure,” I replied. “But you’ll need to draw up your plans and show me what you want to make.” Well, those are probably just about the most elaborate plans any 9 yr. old has ever come up with for a greenhouse! I had to tell him that we probably won’t be able to put all of his ideas to use, but that we’d build the basic structure that he wanted, and then he could add on to it as he was capable. He’s been trying to help me with as many outdoor projects as possible since then so that we can move on to his greenhouse. I’m happy for the help, and happy that he’s doing it willingly!
All of the excitement of making planting lists got the kids anxious for me to begin our indoor planting. They wanted to know if they could help and “when will you be planting???” Since I needed to take a drive to get our milk for the week anyway, I decided to take them into the Dollar General where they were able to purchase some of their own seeds. Miss Lady largely purchased flowers, and the boys bought some flowers but mostly vegetables. Pumpkin and Peanut each purchased their very own trowel, and Pumpkin even bought his own pruning shears.
Pumpkin surprised us once again when he took a great interest in pruning trees with Scott. Scott had both of the older boys help separately to prune trees with him recently, and Pumpkin found that he really enjoyed working on pruning (which is why he purchased his own shears). He’s anxious for another day where he can prune with Dad again! I’ll probably allow him to help me prune the shrubs around the house as well. It looks like Scott might have a future arborist to help him prune our someday-orchard 🙂
The list of proud, happy moments goes on. The kids were thrilled to be tapping trees, and as I said earlier, THRILLED that it’s almost time to boil! When I went to lay down tarps to help prepare more garden space, the kids helped me hold down the corners as I brought heavy objects over to weigh it down. When I went to work on the chickshaw, Pumpkin took pictures and helped staple in the fencing. When I was working on putting the last rails on our garden fence that we put up last year, Peanut and Miss Lady asked if they could start working on pulling the plants we did not remove last fall. I know part of it is the weather… they’ve had cabin fever, and would do anything to have a reason to work outside with me. But they are all genuinely growing to love what we do and find excitement in it! I think this year will hold good things for us!
In a semi-homestead related way, the kids have been getting more involved in helping plan and prepare meals! They are excited for the maple syrup, because it means that they’ll be able to make pancakes and put syrup that they helped to make on top of them! And they’ve been talking about how if their veggies grow, they’ll be able to make a meal with their harvest. Have I mentioned how much I love these kids?
These kids are rough and tumble and often times dirty. (Who wouldn’t be when there is so much mud to play in?!) They are still adjusting to the world and work of homesteading, but it’s been really fun and exciting watching them learn and grow and become excited about these things too. Peanut still says that someday he’d love to be a farmer. Pumpkin doesn’t think he’d want to be a farmer, but rather a scientist who owns chickens. I’m guessing he’s got a future in the science of plants 😉 Miss Lady wants to do all of the things I do when she grows us. I don’t think Doodles understands growing up quite yet, but whatever he does, he’s going to own a lot of things that have engines! When we can’t find him, he’s in the granary checking out the ATV or the tractors. And E, well, he’s not even two just yet, so we’ll see, but I’ll bet you he does something that involves dirt!
For my fellow homesteaders, what are your favorite “proud homesteading parent” moments?
P.S. If you missed it, go back to Monday’s post! We’re helping co-host a giveaway for Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds with some of my favorite bloggers! The giveaway is open until March 11th at 11p.m. One lucky winner will be chosen!