Summer Week #2: Wednesday, June 17th – EO Group B
This spring we have a new bundle keeping us busy; little Juna, who is two months old today. She is a delightfully mellow, easy little baby. This is especially appreciated by her farmer parents, because having a baby in the spring time is, well, a little nuts.
Our other two daughters were born in the fall. Zea in October; Edie in September. And while having a baby anytime during the farm season is a challenge, fall is much easier. The season is in full swing. The fields are fully planted. And at this time the focus is mostly on harvesting and storage of crops. With both girls, I just kind of ‘clocked out’ for the season and enjoyed cuddling with a baby as the cold times loomed ahead.
Spring is another story. By far the busiest three months of our year are April, May, and June. Baby Juna arrived April 16th – planting herself smack in the middle of our crazy.
Mike and I have handled this by basically digging further into our farm and family roles. In our household, we have a pretty traditional division of labor. The decision to breast feed our babies pretty much carved this division, whether we liked it or not. Feeding babies leads to the home, not as much to the tractor.
With the arrival of Juna, Mike has really had to take on the full range of responsibility and management of our farm operation. For the last two months, I’ve been on baby duty and am just barely managing administrative and greenhouse duties. But my days are much more about diapers and shushing than harvesting and transplanting.
In the weeks running up to Juna’s arrival, the stress and anticipation of having to run things solo were weighing pretty heavy on Mike. And simultaneously I worried about being virtually on my own as we transitioned from two kids to three.
There were a couple of pretty priceless conversations we had with friends during this time. They would look at my huge belly and begin to ask very general questions that most people ask about the imminent arrival of a child. How were we feeling? Did we feel ready? Were we getting anxious about the start of everything? And as these conversations went along, I knew we were being asked about our baby. But I also knew that my husband was answering about a different baby… the farm at springtime.
This happened multiple times. Friends were asking about the baby. Mike was answering about the farm. In one exchange I witnessed, my male friend who’d become a first time father the spring before, asked Mike, “How are you hanging in buddy? I remember this time for us last year. It can be pretty rough at the end while you’re waiting.” Mike looked very puzzled at this question. He was thinking, what does he know about the stress of the upcoming season? And then it hit Mike, our friend was talking about our baby.
Farm or baby? There are more similarities to these two than you might imagine. In many ways each spring is like the arrival of a new little one. Countless bits of preparation occur, but really there’s only so much you can do. Nature will bring what it will bring when it wants to and you just have to roll with it as best you can – late nights and all.
So this spring we have our regular farm baby and our new human one. Mike handles the farm baby; I handle the human one. And together we are making it through this crazy time together.
Thank goodness both babies have been pretty darn awesome so far.