A Proud Parent!

Raising animals take a lot of work and sacrifice in return for food security, a viable ecosystem and companionship. Raising children is even more daunting. I learned to take my sense of selflessness to the next level, set aside my ego and developed a whole lot of patience.

My daughters are everything to me and everything I do revolves around them. My permaculture project is the legacy I hope to leave them: direction and purpose, connection with nature, food and resource security, skills for independence.

Both girls, still under the age of 12, are very distractible when it comes to play versus school work and cleaning. The frequent disputes over respect for and power over each other is infuriating. But overall they have matured with compassion and a sense of responsibility.

The younger takes advantage of her age and a laid back, carefree approach to life; responsibilities are for old people. She is a kind hearted sole who never misses to notice my fatigue. When I feel depressed by loosing a bout with the gorilla, Seren will always come to hug and lift me up. When it really matters, she is first to offer her muscles and time.

Older sister Ama frequently drives me crazy with her lack of attention to her miniature Maltese/Poodle cross. All threats of discipline has done little to make her clean up promptly after that dog. During meal time and when there is any house keeping to be done, she is surely last by a long shot. But when it comes to chores around the barn, she is on it: cleaning stalls, preparing feed and making sure water levels are all adequate. Mom has boasted her ability to help with rolling round bails. I rolled my eyes at this until today when Ama helped me.

Round bails can be anywhere from 600-900lbs. Often, I can flip these myself but today the bail just won’t budge. Ama came to help and we still struggled. She helped me tilt the bail sufficiently to stick a shovel underneath for leverage. I would not have been able to tilt it my self and was sure glad she was there to make a difference.

It was about -20 degree Celsius today and with mom ill, Ama lead the way to chores without any complaints. She gave me directions on where to run the water and how to make mash.

Ama also loves to take charge at baking. With Christmas coming close, she single handedly baked up a storm of cookies.

On paper she is not the brightest star but she often lights the way to solve many problems for mom in the barn. She has developed a knack for tying knots, fixing the goat shelter and creating more efficient processes for their daily tasks.

Last month Ama was selected athlete of the year at her vaulting club due to her dedication and hard work, training often on her own. Many of her teammates are much more accomplished and we were puzzled by her selection. She only competed once although winning her category. The coach said being an athlete is not just about winning, it’s about working hard above and beyond team practices. Ama does not attend all training sessions with the team due to the long distance we have to travel. She had to take the initiative to trained daily on her own.

This girl, with her little muscles made my day helping flip that impossible bail. Incredible to realize how much, how fast and how well she has grown. My girls make wrestling with a gorilla so worth it!

December 2022

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