I can picture it now, my boys are in their 30's walking around the farm sharing stories with their children about when they were a kid. There will be stories about halter breaking that first show calf, finally being tall enough to milk in the parlor, learning to drive the skid loader, and campfires after a hard day's work. One of their stories might go something like this:
Your grandmother Christina didn't just help grandpa on the farm, she also taught at the technical college a couple days a week. One of the classes she taught was Animal Nutrition. This one spring she decided to put together a lesson having the students analyze the manure of cows. We walked around the farm and helped her gather manure samples from the heifers, dry cows, and milk cows. Your uncles and I thought it was silly to be putting cow poop in Ziploc bags. When we got back to the farm grandma said, "Hook the hose up, it's time to wash the manure." As three young boys we thought mom was crazy for taking the cow manure we just collected, put in it a strainer, and hose it off. Of course we were curious as to why this had to be done and so we were asking questions. I can only imagine what your grandma was thinking as she tried to figure out how to tell a 7,8, and 11 year the importance of analyzing cow manure. She went on to explain how washing the poop allows us to see what the cow ate with out looking at her food. We can also tell if the particles of hay, silage, and corn need to be ground a little more or less. These was information she was going to make her college students figure out from the washed samples. We thought that it was pretty cool at such a young age to understand something college students were learning. So son, that's why we walk the cows and study their manure.
That story is exactly what happened a few weeks ago here on the farm with my boys. The funniest part was when we were all done my youngest, age 7, asked if it worked the same way for humans. I can sit back and laugh at it now, but that learning moment would never have happened if we didn't live on farm, didn't actively engage our kids in our daily activities, and didn't allow them to think and ask questions.
For right now I am going to keep providing those learning opportunities that will make stories we can share together as a family for years to come. I will blink and the boys will be grown, and I want to soak in every moment I can right now.