25 Jul My farm kid
McDonald, Kansas—My son, Mason, was 6 months old when we hit the harvest trail for the first time. We did our best to power through that first summer on the road, but I’d be lying if I said it was easy … it wasn’t. Not at all. Some of my “fondest” memories are of both of us crying in the camper in the middle of the night. Goodness, that was tough! Thankfully, we both survived and watching that little baby grow into such a sweet, caring boy has been one of my greatest joys.
Jason and Mason in Garden City, Kansas, in 2013.
In his 5 short years, there’s no telling how many hours Mason has spent in the cab of a combine, tractor or semi-truck. He’s quick to throw on his jeans and boots in the morning so he can go to the field with his daddy. And I know nothing makes his daddy happier! Whether he’s dropping in hitch pins, picking up tools or being the “gate getter,” Mason is quickly becoming quite the hand.
Mason helping dad fill up the planter while planting cotton in 2018.
Mason in 2016.
Giving the tractor a rinse during a muddy planting season in 2019.
When bedtime approaches in our house, I anxiously wait to hear from Mason what that night’s delay will be when he knows it’s time to start picking up his farm toys. When I think of a child’s imagination, I default to thinking that it should involve flying on rocket ships to the moon or finding sunken treasure in the sea. But not my farm kid. Nope. This kid is worried about the farming tasks he hasn’t quite completed that day. “Mom, I’ve got to finish planting this cotton before the rain hits tonight,” or “Mom, just a few more passes and I’ll have this field cut out.”
Getting a line of trucks loaded at the bin in 2019.
Hardin, Montana – 2015.
And who am I to argue with that? You don’t tell your farmer to stop worrying—we know that’s not going to happen. You let him finish baling the last of his hay. You let him fill up his planter with seed and fertilizer. You let him cut until those trucks are full. Because sleep won’t come if the work isn’t done.
Passing time in the tractor cab – 2015.
These nightly rituals make me feel so many things. Frustration: Mom is ready for some peace and quiet, kid! Get your hiney in that bed! Joy: It really is so funny to see what his nightly agenda holds and what his little mind is coming up with. Sadness: We can’t think for a second that our kids aren’t wildly aware of what’s going on around them. Should a 5-year-old request to watch the local weather forecast? I guess it only stands to reason that he would when he knows that’s what dictates the work load for the day ahead … whether it is real or imagined.
Fall Harvest – 2014.
My nurturing mother heart hopes he doesn’t lose sight of the joys of being 5. I want him to play and live his little life free of worry. But are there any better life lessons for a kid to learn? He’s learning about hard work. He’s learning about failure and success. He’s learning that good things take time and patience. He’s learning to have faith in God’s plan and timing. His daddy and I are beyond blessed to be able to be right by his side, guiding him through the ups and downs to the best of our ability.
Helping mom with the tractor and grain cart in Montana – 2015.
Our farm kids … and harvest kids, too … are a special kind. If life keeps them on the farm or leads them on a different kind of great adventure, I think they’ll be well equipped to handle whatever may come their way.
Getting ready to load cattle – 2016.
Our tractor and farmer for Halloween – 2018.
Fall Harvest in north central Oklahoma – 2014.
All Aboard Harvest is sponsored by High Plains Journal and John Deere. Lindsey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.