At 5:30 a.m. in a rare moment of early morning ambition I tiptoed downstairs, expecting to spend at least 30 uninterrupted minutes at the computer before the rest of the house tumbled out of bed.
But the soft glow of the backroom light spilled into the kitchen along with a steady hum. My farm boy was already awake moving “corn”.
I think Ethan got his first auger when he was three and the current one (pictured) a few years later. My Farmer had the grand idea to allow the use of cream of wheat as a substitute for corn. Ethan will set up his wagons and auger and grind cream of wheat for days on end and hours at a time.
He is a farm boy without question. The way he talks and thinks, the way he walks and plays is indication of his early childhood spent in a tractor and the fields. He knows more about how the equipment works than some of the guys who drive for us in the fall. One harvest day, Ethan was working with Papa and a family friend. The friend stalled the tractor in the middle of a very large field. Ethan informed Papa later, “I told him to shift down and throttle up, but he didn’t listen.”
He knows about the fields – the acres, the fertility, the soil, the crop rotation. When we’re called to a field I usually ask for directions . . . from Ethan. He is my mobile GPS. My Farmer thinks after nine years of marriage I should know where all 35 fields are; after all Ethan learned in just seven.
Ethan begs for jobs on the farm. He relishes the responsibility of turning off the bin fans in the early morning before school, or sweating it out while picking up rocks with Grandpa or baling hay with Uncle Peter.
At seven years old, my farm boy is an old soul. He’d rather take a walk at dusk than watch a movie, and has to rise before the sun, a true farmer trait. Sometimes I’ll find him sitting on the porch swing. We’ll swing together, listening to the din of country sounds and relishing our life on the farm.
Because of Ethan’s love of the farm, I understand more than ever our need to farm with the future in mind. We aren’t farming just for today, just to put a meal on the table, pay the bills and have enough to put in a crop for next year. We are building on the legacy passed to us from our fathers and grandfathers. That alone is a big responsibility; making sure that legacy is steadfast for the future is daunting but doable.
Read more 30 Day blogs starting with My Generation. And follow more of my 30 Days of the Not So Glamorous Life of this Farm Wife: