It seems most people’s complaints about holidays are that they should not be celebrated for just that one given 24-hour period. I’m taking that mindset when it comes to Father’s Day. So, let’s not blame the lateness of this blog on my laziness to sit down and write it, but rather my sincere efforts to continue celebrating fathers all month long.
Brandon is an incredible father. This is simply a statement. Not a statement to be read with any surprise in the tone, but rather a fact said with admiration and sincerity. I never had any doubts Brandon would be an incredible father, but there are still times where I am blown away by seeing him in this new role. There are many important qualities that are a part of the amazing father Brandon is, but there is one quality in particular that sticks out to me which he exemplifies and that is his patience.
I have experienced Brandon’s gracious patience many times prior to Romney Ann being born, most of the time it has revolved around my silly city-girl questions. I’ll share one with you if you promise not to make fun of me…too much. Brandon and I had not been dating long, and it was dusk on the farm. The chickens that just roamed the farm were starting to find a place to roost. Well, first off, I didn’t know chickens roosted off the ground. I had never really given this any thought, but I guess I just assumed they found a place on the ground to sleep. There is one tree in Brandon’s parent’s front yard the chickens are particularly fond of. So, on this given evening of epiphanies, I’m flabbergasted to see the chickens get up in the tree to roost, and then I asked, “Well, what happens if they lay an egg when they’re sleeping?”. I was so worried that if an egg just popped out unannounced it was going to fall to its demise. Brandon calmly and without judgement explained the answer to my question. Well, duh. After I gave it some thought, it made total sense. This is not the only silly question I have ever asked and they’re still coming even after all this time, and every time I’m thankful for his way of patiently explaining things to me.
Brandon’s patience has been taken to a whole new level with Romney Ann. She hasn’t asked any silly questions yet, but in an effort to allow her to be as much a part of the farm as possible, Brandon lets her help him. RA LOVES to help him with chores, especially with the laying hens. She helps him fill up the feeders and collect the eggs. Recently she was helping him collect eggs, and she dropped one. Without missing a beat, he reassured her it was ok and let her go on collecting the next ones. A week or so later, she was collecting eggs again and brought an egg from the nest to the bucket but dropped the egg with a little too much force. She not only cracked the egg she was holding but another one that was already in the bucket. Again, without missing a beat, he let her continue to collect them with gentle reminders to be easy with the eggs. He never raised his voice with her, and he let her continue to help. Brandon meets Romney Ann where she is and tries to foster her curiosity and interest in the animals on the farm. I am convinced that her eagerness to help and the joy it brings her is all because Brandon keeps giving her a chance, over and over again.
As I think about this characteristic of patience more, it must be a quality of all farmers. I’m not saying they all exemplify it in their parenting as well, but farming is a career where there is no such thing as instant gratification. Everything, and I mean everything, in the farming world takes time. For example, on our farm, it takes 8 weeks to raise a 5lb chicken, 20 weeks until a hen will begin to lay her first egg, and around 7 months for pigs, a year for lambs and 2 years for a cow to be the size to process. There is a lot of time and energy that goes into raising all of these animals, all of which is rooted in patience. In this culture of immediate satisfaction, I hope and pray that Romney Ann inherits this trait of her father’s and finds an appreciation for the labors of love that take just a little bit longer.