Post Hurricane Michael we had some down time due to no power and no internet, so if we weren’t cleaning up our own mess, we were helping a friend or neighbor do the same. I sent out a text out offering my "strong back and weak mind" to some friends and got an immediate response asking, “wanna bale some hay?” Not exactly the response I was expecting, but a friend of mine had cut some hay and needed a hand getting is bailed and in the barn before the coming rain.
The next day, Molly and I set out for his farm where I fully expected to be slinging hay bails on a trailer all day while Molly rode along in the truck giving me unsolicited advice from the window. But to my wonderful surprise, and relief, he had a grapple for his tractor that grabbed eight bails at a time and set them on the trailer bound for the barn. Hydraulics are a wonderful thing! Since I wouldn’t be taking pieces of my spine home in a five gallon bucket, I put Molly in the drivers seat of the truck and put her in charge of the pulling the hay trailer from the field to the barn.
I believe hard work on a farm builds character and special quality in a person they live with the rest of their lives. Starting them young, doing things they never thought they could do before gives them confidence for life. If they mess up, they mess up...live and learn and they will know better next time. Despite what the world tells us, its ok to fail and I tell Will all the time, “there is no substitute for experience”. I’m almost 50 now, and still seem to learn that lesson almost daily. There is little better than seeing a child’s face light up when have done something that seemed impossible at first, yet succeeds with a glowing smile. It is a special bond that warms my heart and something that a child will never forget.
On our way home, Molly was sound asleep in the back seat and worn out from a great day on the farm. My friend thanked me for our help, but I told him, “no…thank you”. For just a little while, I got the get away from all the clutter and noise of daily life, but best of all, I got to watch my daughter grow up just a little bit right before my eyes. I wouldn't trade that moment for anything.