We have been out of our “city life” for a year now. We didn’t know what to expect from our new life, but there have been a few things that have stood out in the past year… things we couldn’t have imagined. Great opportunities for learning, but a whole new set of problems and issues!
Here are a few!
1. They have a confident understanding of the “birds and bees” or hens and roosters, as we have it. Watching the rooster mount the hens brought forth our discussion on sex a few months (years? decades?) earlier than I hoped, but worked out in the end.
Possible problem– they are growing up with an understanding of the mechanics of sex but not the emotional understands Because trust me , I have never seen a hen enjoy being mounted by a cock!
2. All things will die. Some sooner than later, and some dramatically while others goes peacefully. We have lost an array of hamsters, rabbits, chickens and ducks to death in the past 6 months. Tears and burials for each (and much Gin for mommy as she screams to the heavens at the unfairness of it all)
Possible problem: they are becoming so accustomed to death that it is happenstance. All things die which means the heartache that their mother experienced with each loss, the kids aren’t experiencing anymore. The just dig another hole- which to me seems callous and to them is just natural
3. They have chores. Like REAL chores. Chores like I never had. Early morning chores, mid day chores, evening chores. All sorts of chores needed to keep our flock alive. Survival of our family, our budget and our critters depends on EVERYONE pitching in
Possible Problem: Maybe too much too soon? Our kids are mucking out pens and stalls, up early to let the hens out, and wandering down to the coop at night to put everyone to bed. They have RESPONSIBILITIES…. and yes, that’s good. But, they are going to have responsibilities for the rest of their life, and I don’t know if having them now will make them better people in the end, or cause them to go wild when they taste freedom?
4. They get dirty. Which is awesome. Full stop, they play in dust and muck and step in chicken poop. The sweat and smile and don’t worry about perfect hair.
Possible Problem: They get dirty ALL the time. Fancy shoes are a thing of the past. We are getting used to tics and mites and all sorts of freaky bugs that I would normally throw a hissy fit over. Maybe I still should. . .
5. We don’t have cable, and they rarely watch tv these days. Our selection of shows comes from netflix, and is not structured to a time or schedule.
Possible Problem: They don’t keep up on current events ( an neither do we) at all. Which has a plus side as well- when all those terrible things happen in the world, our kids are oblivious. But, it means our kids are oblivious to the things happening in the world.
We love our life, but as a normal parent, even though my kids are happier and more active than in the city, I still wonder which is the BEST way to raise kids? Rural? Or city, or maybe something in between!
Until I figure it out, I will keep teaching them to de-mite the chickens and pick up slugs for the ducks!