This has been a hard weekend for me. For the past 4 days I have not been home a significant portion of the day and the week before that I had at least one thing going on every day. Slowly the children’s schedule have been getting more and more off until chaos seemed to rule their actions. In the midst of it all I was still trying to cook our own food mostly from scratch, maintain a household, including laundry for 3 children under five that has to be hung outside on the line and learn the ins and outs of farming. Part of the problem was a plethora of family committments (its graduation season after all) and work at my other part time job as a writer.
Monday was supposed to be a holiday, instead we worked on the farm and fixed our car. By the end of the day there was no energy for anything. The kids wanted to go for a bike ride. We don’t do that very often since having both parents present is a must in our busy neighborhood. I knew the dog hadn’t been walked for at least 4 days and I couldn’t really remember when. So we thought OK, only to discover one tire on Two’s bike was flat and wouldn’t hold any air we were trying to put in it (a burst inner tube perhaps?). Ugh is my new favorite word, or something like that. Vegging out seemed the only solution, but the kids wanted to play baseball and swing and there were plants to be watered and animals to be fed.
I found myself thinking is this worth it? What exactly are we trying to accomplish. Our family by definition seems to avoid definitions. Conservative hippies maybe. Tree huggers that hunt. Homesteaders that live in the city. Who knows what we are really, just a mixture of ideas and identities that make us a family. I do know that we are beginning to really crave self-reliance. Proeun can fix cars and build things out of scratch, even come up with interesting solutions to problems he calls, “going MacGuyver.” I can make food from scratch, clothes from scratch and have my babies at home. We are trying as a family to reduce our waste through reusing, composting and sharing our food with our animals. This weekend we were at my aunt’s house. Two tasted a grape he didn’t like and asked aunt Janice if he could give it to the animals. “We don’t have any animals,” she said. “What about the ants?” he said. Anyway I digress.
So what is the value of taking things slow, doing things as a family, like work, knowing that we are working towards a more sustainable future and raising children who will view this as the norm. In the end I had to admit, it is worth it and here’s why
But you will each have your own reasons.