Ode to Green and Gold

Nope, not the Packers. It's the green and gold of an entirely different sort.


We live in the country, next-door to a farm. My dad's farm, to be exact, where I spent the first 10-ish years of my life. In fact, we bought land from my dad and stepmom and built our house in a field where I once flew kites in summer and walked barefoot through the muddy spring soil after it had been tilled (but of course not planted yet).



Despite growing up "on a farm," I really didn't turn out to be much of a farm-girl. I don't know how to drive a tractor, and I was always largely afraid of our cattle. I was definitely the Bleeding Heart of the family when it came to creatures both domestic and wild (my brothers called it Tattle-Tale, but I would differ). I can name some pieces of machinery and have played inside a grainary (when I probably wasn't supposed to), but  I'm pretty hit-or-miss on naming my crops. I do know that animals eat hay, not straw, and that most bales are the latter, not the former (or...I think so anyway. Side note: the straw has several other uses). I also pride myself on my ability to walk barefoot on a dirt (and rock) driveway, but that's not something that comes up in conversation all that often (or ever).

All in all, I turned out pretty soft, as some of my family might describe it...and despite the fact that Nick and I did end up buying five acres and building a house in the country, we proceeded to live a fairly non-country life--and certainly a non-farm life. But all of that changed when our boys came home.

All of my early learning, however sparse, has recently been put to the test by our 3-yr-old, who is as FARM as they come. He loves--LOVES--tractors, cows, goats, horses, barns, farms...um...everything having to do with farms and farm equipment and farm animals. And, based on the history we know (but can't share at this point), there is no reasonable explanation for it. He was just wired to love all things Farm, which means his home is in the perfect location--in the country, next-door to a farm, and specifically next-door to his grandpa, who is his new hero.

His grandpa drives a tractor.

A John-Deere tractor.

Which he has gotten to ride in...more than once.



(This is inside the tractor cab on his first-ever tractor ride--and I'm taking the picture, which means I was riding along too in my first tractor ride in MANY years...you'll notice part of my face in the top-right corner.)

Nick and I are getting a crash-course in farm machinery: plow, disc(er?), baler, combine, loader, rake...etc. It's possible I made some of those terms up. Our 3-yr-old is quickly putting us to shame...if he wasn't in bed right now I might have asked him to check my work!

We have a set of small books in our car for the boys to look at when we're driving, and one of them (of course) is all about farm vehicles. I am informed almost daily by a certain 3-yr-old that "Mommy and Daddy need to get him a 'lawnmower tractor'. With a trailer. A green John Deere one." And I'm pretty sure he would be devastated if we actually did all of that but "just" got him a toy and not a "real" one actually able to cut the grass. Needless to say, we're holding off on that for a bit.

(Note Nick's hoodie...a big hit with both my dad and our preschooler.)

Today we went to the county fair. And I had picked out his (only) John Deer shirt to wear, along with some (admittedly close but not exact) matching green and gold shorts (which bugs me). AND right when we walked in we hit the jackpot: the John Deere dealership area. He was absolutely in his element, walking from one piece of equipment to the next, climbing up, and then touching buttons, pulling and pushing levers, and just generally owning the space...much to the chagrin of both me and probably also the John Deere Rep. Actually mostly just me...it was the last day of the fair and the Rep seemed unphased by the sight of a 3-yr-old traipsing all over multi-thousand-dollar equipment. I, on the other hand, was afraid he'd actually manage to put one in gear! Or wait...would that be "take it out of gear...?"

(This is me looking chagrined and Nick attempting to just slightly slow his progress to the next machine.)


It was a fun day...but I don't expect the requests for a lawnmower tractor to lessen in frequency anytime soon. That's okay. There are certainly worse things to live with. I'm glad he's found such a convenient "hobby"--with my dad next door, there is no shortage of opportunity for exposure! And after all, I grew up with John Deere...I just never expected it would spontaneously reinsert itself so prominently into my life. Go figure...maybe I'll turn into a farm girl after all. I just hope there's not a test...unless my 3-yr-old can help me.



KH

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