Thursday, April 30, 2009

I'm always reminding myself to count my blessings

One of the things I appreciate most about staying home with my kids is being able to be outside so much more. I don't miss being in an office one bit. I cherish the many moments that are nearly magical; it balances out the hum drum in a way that keeps me jazzed. This day was one of those synergistic occasions. We were headed out on a walk with friends. We'd done this walk just two days prior, but on this particular day, the cows and their babies had been moved. So, our kids got to experience heifer motherhood up close and personal. It was pretty amazing, and these tired women (the cows) were fairly easy going, considering that a bunch of rowdy humans came tramping among their newly born sweet young.

The kids, fluctuated in their responses... mesmerized, highly verbal, flat out loud. And still, these cows really didn't mind. It was just something to be there with them. When I was little we read books about farm animals. The cow goes "moo," you know. But it wasn't a part of my every day experience. I am in awe that my kids are growing up, learning about birth and death through farm animals. My six-year old can explain to you that these cows are being raised so that humans can eat their meat, and that they are cared for in a kind way. She doesn't blink an eye in describing this to you. Now, me, the 20-year vegetarian, I still cringe a little. I have a hard time looking at those beautiful big eyes and being just fine with eating that soul. But there you go... diversity. My daughter is fine with the life cycle. I guess what's important to me is that my kids understand that meat doesn't just arrive in the cooler. She gets it, and I didn't necessarily set out to parent this intentionally. It has just evolved over time, and it's such a beautiful thing to be a part of.


Melissa said...

I've been doing a lot of blessing-counting lately, too-- although not with cows, since we are in far too urban a place to have them close by (although my son's joy at the goat farm is wonderful). For me, it's been walking all the streets I walked as a young, drifting grad student, pushing my giant stroller and remembering "oh, here, this is where I knew I wanted to marry Adam" or "oh, here I was when I had the idea for that poem." I think that it shows that you have taught your children honor and respect and thoughtfulness that your daughter is able to see the life cycle in its fullness. Give yourself a pat on the back!

Noreen said...

Ok, just had to comment on this one since it occurred on my birthday! What beautiful photos and such a meaningful post. I couldn't agree with you more about eating animals. Your children are so fortunate to be raised in the enviornment you have chosen for them. Give yourselves two pats on the back. HuGs!!