Today is the last big farm to table lunch of the season.
And I am exhausted by my struggle with the knowledge of the departure of Fourth Son and his family tomorrow. Packing the memories in tight.
We were up so late catching the meteor showers that I forgot to lock up the calf so there will not be much milk this morning. My little farm helper will be ready at the door very soon. He has done all the chores with me every day since he arrived. A fearless little four year old child. Carrying his buckets and his pride high as he pushes along.
Farms are great places for children to succeed, with praise. And it is this success that becomes embedded. Good Job is one of the most powerful words for a child to hear. Especially if he is aware of the struggle he has been through, overcoming the fear of pigs, of carrying a heavy bucket, or staying quite still exactly where he is told.
Yesterday he had to pick up his milking stool and run behind another gate shutting it behind him and climbing back onto the stool so I could see him – all in time for Lady to steam past. A pattern of movements we had practised for just this eventuality. (Lady had been trying to break her calf out of the corner pen and needed to be moved into the milking room fast). His success smile as he received his “Good Job, Fast Work.” was like gold in his pocket. He might forget the incident. But he will not forget the knowledge of his fast, smooth, well timed movements. Getting to the right place, at the right time with the right knowledge. Gold.
Here he is already and me not quite ready.
Today we go to the next step and he can bring his stool in beside the cows head (once she is in the stanchion) and he can be the handmaiden pushing her food forward with the brush. He will love that or hate it and retreat back behind the milking wall!
Weather: Lovely! Cool.