Do you remember when I talked about the birthday project I’ve been working on for my son, a homemade book called When I was Five?
A short recap, I collected photos and interviews from a bunch of family members and each page will be a little spread telling him about that person’s life at age five. Where they lived, how they did school, how they played…
It was a lot of fun to collect all the photos and information, and it’s been so awesome to reexamine the way God has woven all these families together.
One thing I couldn’t help but notice was how much of our families grew up on a farm, or at least a mini farm. My mom, both of my grandparents. Ryan’s mom, aunt, and grandma. Plenty of people didn’t. My great grandmother, for example, grew up not on a farm but in the café her parents owned and operated. She wasn’t allowed to serve customers at age five so was thrilled when she finally got to at age ten.
I couldn’t help but notice how goals and parenting styles have shifted and changed throughout the years, how history repeats itself again and again.
Right now, today, we’re living in suburbia. We’ve got tomatoes in pots on our windowsills but we are otherwise completely garden-free this year. I’ve been all about vegetable gardening for years now and it’s honestly driving me a bit crazy that we aren’t growing anything else right now but I have a young baby and our goals are making life feel a bit temporary at the moment so this year I am sad to say that we will not be enjoying homegrown raspberries in our oatmeal or watching our babies tug carrots out of the ground. The pumpkin we paint at Halloween will be one that is picked at a patch, not plucked from the vine taking over our backyard.
But our goal? Our goal is to do it like our grandparents did. Our goal is for our children to someday write about their childhoods and say that they chased our chickens and named baby goats after their favorite book characters, that they used to pick berries from our own patch when they wanted some with their breakfasts, that they once grew a watermelon so big it won a prize in the county fair.
I don’t want a full farm, per say, but I want a more self-sustaining lifestyle. I want fresh eggs and goats’ milk. I want to make goats’ milk cheese and pick most of my produce from the ground in my backyard. I want my children to run amok outdoors, to grow up thinking store-bought is a treat instead of a default.