As I sat on the tractor trying to make sure that I had my wheels lined up just so, checking the RPM the PTO was running, and also making sure I hadn’t been the second woman in my fathers life to accidentally run him over, I thought of this idea. Thanks in part to my father, I know what a hard working man looks like. I can recognize it from a mile away. He wasn’t always home when I wanted him to be there, but he was always there when I NEEDED him to be. He was there for plays and recitals. He even took me to the doctor once or twice. I didn’t turn out defective because of the lack of my father being home. I am not dysfunctional because when he was home, he wasn’t inside playing with me all the time but instead outside working on farm equipment or baling hay to help feed and fuel MY past time of showing horses.
Quite the opposite. I turned out better for the lack of his presence in my childhood (it’s not that he wasn’t there, but there was always something to be done). I can recognize hard work, and I have a better work ethic myself because I have witnessed it first hand from both of my parents. I have found that even at 36, I am finding it hard to find people that have any type of work ethic (I know they are out there, it is just finding them), let alone one like I was raised with. In a society where everyone gets a trophy, it is easy for everyone to think that things should just be handed to them, and my parents never allowed that…something I will never be able to express my gratitude to them for.
Moral of this story is, as hard as this lifestyle can be on the families that live it day in and day out, it can serve a purpose. It is hard for the women that keep the home fires burning, taking care of the kids for countless hours by ourselves, to believe that it is worth it at times. Sometimes it will take years for that purpose to be seen. The quality time that I spent with my father that one Saturday afternoon, he on the wagon stacking, and me on the tractor doing my best to not kill either of us was one of the most enjoyable I have had with him in recent years (I am a huge daddy’s girl, so I enjoy anytime I have with him). To see his face beaming with pride that I had picked up on something so trivial, not having been able to do years ago is something that I will carry with me for years to come. So maybe while this lifestyle is thankless and brutal for so many of us, for so many years, the greater lesson is yet to come…we just have to wait for it to be seen.
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