My Generation
Dog days and other lies of summer

Dog days and other lies of summer

Farm kids don't have any need for fancy day camps or other time fillers. Let's lead calves, play in the mud, ride bikes...or paint something!

Everywhere I've turned since about the last month of school, I hear these people talking about ways to fill up their kids' summer. Camps, day trips, craft projects, large-scale, parent-led outdoor obstacle course events. It's like Pinterest got all frantic about kids and time and boredom and went a little nuts.

I have a couple thoughts about this.

First of all, there's nothing wrong with a bored kid. Boredom teaches them to make their own fun. Or stare out the window and think for a while. I'm actually not the cruise director here and they don't need something to do every second of the day.

Also, I think every farm kid knows what happens if they suggest they don't have anything to do. Nothing to do? Let's paint gates, pull weeds, pick something, paint fence posts, scoop pens, mow, weed, mow or mow. Also, paint. And mow!

Second of all, who are these people who have time to fill in the summer? I don't think I know them! My kids are now 12, 10 and 7. They have calves to rinse, brush and lead. They have rabbits and cats and dogs and more cats to take care of. They have piano lessons to practice and parents to help.

Hazel is the only one experiencing any real dog days of summer around here.

Their days are spent outside – as they should be. Frankly, it's the rare day around here that someone doesn't need a shower before they can come in the house to eat lunch. Maybe that's the muddy nature of this first half of the summer, but still. I don't mind. It means they lived! They explored. They made dolls out of sticks and leaves and flowers. They rode bikes through puddles until their backs were covered with mud splatters. They dug holes in the garden and didn't bother with shoes unless they had to go in the barn, where the rule is absolutely no flip flops ever, on any condition, so don't even ask.

It means they helped Dad in the shop and I believe God blesses grease stains. Also, paint stains from a post-fence-post-painting paint fight.

Dog days of summer? Not on the farm. Nobody's bored around here!

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