What I Learned on a Farm

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This past weekend, Bean had a birthday party for one of this classmates at a petting farm.  I had never been to a petting farm before.  In fact, when I got the invitation, I had to Google it before I found out that petting farms are real farms that kids get to visit.  Only, they are allowed to touch everything and try it all out.

It was such a fun party!  The kids got to actually milk a cow, for crying out loud!

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This particular cow was seven months pregnant, and I don’t know about you, but I was not patient at seven months pregnant. Especially not when it involved someone pulling on my ta-tas. Bless this cow.

(Sorry it’s blurry. As soon as the milk came out, Bean squealed and ran!)

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There were also horses they got to ride, peacocks that paraded around, bunnies to pet, and even baby chicks and ducks to hold in our very hands!

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And there was this enormous goat pin we got to walk in, too.  I had never seen so many goats in one place! They would walk right up to you and let you pet them all you wanted. Even the babies. Though, this one momma goat got a little irked at me when I petted her baby goat a little too long. She came moseying over, headbutted me right in the thigh, and then stood between me and the baby, giving me this look like, “Back off, crazy!” I don’t blame her.

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Bean had no need for me that day. He was off with 10,000 of his closest friends from school, blowing easily from this group of friends to that, enjoying being with everyone. Everyone, that is, except for me. Because the farm was so well contained and the tour so well led, parents really got a nice break. We just followed the “herd” around (see what I did there?) while the tour guide kept everyone in line. It was nice for a while, but about halfway through the morning, I thought, “This is what it is going to be like soon. The kids will be off with their friends and I’ll be left standing here, just wishing they’d come back.”

I got very sentimental as we boarded the farm train, which would take us on a tour of the property.  I walked up to the train with Gracie (who stayed with me all day since she wasn’t really a “guest”), only to find Bean sitting in a row with four other boys. When I poked my head in, he said happily, “There’s no room, Mom!” and I happily responded, “Okay, Gracie and I will be a few rows back if you need us.” But inside, I cried a little. I’m always Bean’s train conductor when we ride trains. When we play trains at home, I’m Percy and he’s Thomas. When we pass trains on the street, we count the cars together. And now, my seat was being taken by four preschool boys.

Big gulp.

Gracie and I headed to the back of the train until we found a free row where we could both sit. I was just snuggling her in next to me, fully prepared to force her to cuddle until my maternal meltdown passed, when I heard the sweetest little sound. From three rows up, I heard Bean call out, “Mom?”

I looked up, and there he was, all by himself. He was walking down the train platform, looking in each row and calling, “Mom?”

I called out to him, “I’m right here, buddy!” And he met my eyes, smiling as he climbed up in the row with us.

“Hey, Mom,” he said, as casually as if he hadn’t just melted my heart into a giant puddle of goo.

“Hey, buddy,” I said, as casually as if I didn’t care that the first born fruit of my womb actually needed me. “Whatcha doing back here?”

“I just wanted to sit with you and Gracie,” he said. “Did you see that big turkey back there? He was huge!” And the conversation moved on as quickly as it started.

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We spent the train ride together, laughing at the funny things the animals did and showing Gracie everything Bean could name. And I know it meant nothing to Bean. I know he didn’t think twice about coming to sit with me. But it meant the world to me. It meant that maybe, one day, far, far away, even when Bean is off with his friends living the life that I so want him to enjoy, maybe he’ll still call my name every now and then and come sit with me. Just because I’m his mom.

I guess that’s really why we do it, isn’t it? Why we let them pull on our ta-tas, why we headbutt people to keep our children safe, and why we love them up so they can go out into the world all by themselves. Whether we are cows or goats or humans, we do it all because we are their mommas, and we know they will always return to us.

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And that’s what I learned on a farm.

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29 thoughts on “What I Learned on a Farm

  1. kat

    okay most likely this is just my hormones talking, being ready to birth this second baby and all, but omg this made me tear up!

  2. I think you have it in perspective!

  3. So sweet. That Bean. What a heartbreaker–in the best way!

  4. Abby S

    One of my favorite posts!

  5. Aileen

    This was so sweet! *tears* I loved it.

  6. You’re such a good Mamma Bear! How sweet!

  7. And then they turn 17 and . . . let’s just say that leaving the nest doesn’t look quite so sad anymore. 😉

  8. I’m not even a momma yet and I want to cry! I love this post.

  9. Oh jeez….I am not ready for that! I’m still ready to head butt people to keep my little guy little for a bit longer. But every day it’s “Sullivan do it, go away Mommy”. Sigh….

  10. Sarah

    I don’t even HAVE kids and I got teary

  11. Bean is going to make you so proud. You still have plenty of hugs and cuddles left. I don’t think they will run out any time soon. You’re an amazing mom!

  12. I’ll third the “I teared up and I don’t even have kids!” sentiment!

  13. When you mentioned on FB that Bean was going to milk a cow at a birthday party, I pictured him visiting something like Schrute Farm on “The Office.” This looks way better than that!

  14. Jenna

    This is the best.

  15. ok i’m crying at work!!! so sweet. thanks for sharing 🙂

  16. Katy

    Who knew that a petting zoo visit could be such a wonderful life lesson…there is nothing better than being some little person’s mommy!!

  17. Janie

    Tears here, too. So sweet 🙂

  18. BeccaK.

    This was the best. The. BEST

  19. Andie

    What the. I did not expect to cry at 11:21 AM. Damn, you captured that beautifully. I’m a new mom to a five month old and that moved me to tears..

  20. I am so glad to know that I wasn’t the only one crying in her office!

  21. Meredith Jones

    I’m not even a mommy yet and that had be getting all teary and emosh here at work. Beautifully written emotions and love in this post Katie. Thank you for making me look even MORE forward to becoming a mom someday soon!

  22. katie

    Katie – reading this just made me tear up. My baby is 24 years old and I had to go through a period of grieving those childhood days when I was the center of her world. My heart still aches for those days even though I’m proud of who she is at this stage. Your heart will always ache for those days!

  23. Rachel

    Ok, glad to see from the comments that I’m not the only one with tears. My kids are 16 & 13 and I can relate. They don’t need you the same ways when they’re older, but they do still need you. 🙂

  24. Nikki

    Read this with my three month old in my lap, and of course I cried. My Husband wants him to grow up quicker, and I want him to stay just the way he is. I know it’s going to go so fast, so I’m soaking it all in as much as I can!

  25. Ok, this is probably my favorite post ever. My little guy is turning 3 next month and I’m starting to see glimpses of his big boy self, and it makes me cry a little inside.

  26. Mae

    Why do I have tears in my eyes? B/c I can totally relate! There are more and more times as my 3.5 year old grows a little bit older and he becomes independent. It makes my mommy heart happy and sad at the same time.

  27. Amanda S

    I love this post but you totally made me cry at my desk. My first born starts kindergarten this Fall and as we have more and more of these moments where I see myself not needed quite as much I rejoice and get teary at the same time.

  28. Lindsay Campbell

    Geez Katie! I thought I was just reading a post about the farm and then bam! You kick me in the gut with this. You totally made me cry but I loved it! 🙂

  29. Laura

    This one made me cry, and I don’t even have kids! But it did make me call my mama, just to say “Hi, I love you.”

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