Thursday, June 9, 2011

The best of both worlds

Instead of turning the air conditioning on, I opened my car windows tonight on the way home from work. There was a slight breeze and since I didn't get out for my run at lunch I needed the fresh air.  As I drove past the fields of the experimental farm, the temperature suddenly dropped and a cool breeze waved through the car.  I instantly got goosebumps and I'm not sure if they were because I was cold or if I was caught off guard by a sudden memory of growing up on the farm.

We never had (and they still don't have) air conditioning on the farm. We didn't even have fans growing up.  We propped our old wooden windows open with a piece of wood and let the cool breeze from the land cool us off.  That sudden breeze today reminded me of my curtains blowing in the wind on peaceful summer nights. So refreshing. So natural.

Other than the sound of crickets or an occasional cat fight, we slept in peace.  Now I sleep to the hum of an air conditioner and am startled by fire trucks zooming by or car alarms going off. This isn't new, I've been away from the farm for almost 10 years now, but now I am seeing it through my child's eyes now.  So far, this is the world E will grow up in.  The city life. My little city boy, just like his Dad.

I want the farm to be a big part of E's life and we try to visit as much as possible. He didn't really have a choice with a farm themed nursery, toys, books, music classes - this kid was going to be part city boy, part farm boy.  I feel fortunate and like to think that some of my best qualities stem from growing up as a farmer's daughter.

There are so many things that I want E to experience or learn that we can't easily do or see in our neighbourhood.  These are things that I am thankful for, learned from and treasure from my childhood. I want him to learn how to unload a wagon of hay bales and to stack and store them in a hot, hazy loft. I want him go fishing for tad poles in the culvert or the pond on a raft made out of scrap wood. I want him to learn to hand-milk a cow and to see or even help a cow give birth. I want him to learn how to drive a tractor. I want him to build forts in the bushes and play hide n' seek in the corn fields. I want him to learn to care for an abandoned kitten. I want him to learn to lead a calf. I want him to go on bike riding adventures throughout the acres of farm land. I want him to learn that on a farm there is no such thing as being "bored".

Even though I want him to experience the farm life I am happy to give my child the city life. Hubby grew up in the city so we are always looking for a happy medium. I want to give E the opportunity to enroll in after-school programs and sports. I want to give him the opportunity to join competitive teams, go to the park to meet neighbourhood friends, or whatever his little heart desires.  Because we are so lucky to have access to this living in a city.

So while I putter around my tiny air conditioned home I need to remind myself that it's not all that bad. It could almost be better. We can give him the best of both worlds. How cool is that?

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