1) Be patient – When he tells you to pick him up at the Lone Tree Quarter and you go to the quarter of land that has the only tree on it and he tells you that he meant the quarter of land that had one tree on it when his grandfather was farming…well, that’s just how farmers think.
2) Be flexible – When he says that he’ll be in the house in 20 minutes for supper and you get everything ready and then two hours later he walks in the door saying that some salesman had stopped and that he didn’t buy anything, but time just got away from him…well, maybe he should be the flexible one. That way he can duck when you throw the plate at him.
3) Be willing to laugh – When he comes in the house, mad that he can’t find the nuts/bolts/tools/whatever he had taken apart and had set “right there” in the shop and he needs an extra set of eyes and then when you go to help you realize that your 3-year-old had “helped” Dad by putting all the parts in the handle of the floor jack…well, that’s just plain funny. Even if he doesn’t think so. At least not right away.
4) Be willing to change your view of norm – Walking into church 10 minutes early, enjoying the prelude music and visiting with a few people is no longer a normal part of life. Walking into church 10 minutes late, realizing your 4-year-old is still wearing his “rubby” boots and wondering if anyone else notices the smell of cow in the air, is.
5) Remember that he relates to new situations by connecting them to ones he knows – For instance, when you’re having a child and the doctor says he may need to assist in the delivery and he says something like, “But where do you hook the chains?” Well, he’s just trying to relate. Or if your children are born weighing in at 9 pounds 6 ounces, 10 pounds 9 ounces, 9 pounds 2 ounces and 9 pounds 13 ounces, and he calls the Select Sires rep to try to figure out what his Calving Ease score would be, but isn’t feeling too bad because he’s not breeding heifers any more anyway…well, he’s just trying to relate.
6) Throw out the calendar – Yes, it may be your anniversary, your birthday, Thanksgiving, what have you may…but since the weather is perfect for ______ (fill in blank) you may need to celebrate tomorrow or next week…or maybe three shindigs in one. Happy Anni-birth-giving!
7) Keep your temper – When he calls at noon, as you’re feeding four children, giving one a bath after eating, preparing a Sunday school lesson, trying to get some laundry done, washing dishes, breaking up a food fight and trying to find the wild cat that someone let in the house and he asks you if you’re “doing anything” – well, just count to ten…slowly…then backwards. Breathe. It’s OK.
8) Remember that cows and children are different…sometimes – When he comes in the house covered in manure from head to toe, yet the smell of baby poop makes him gag…well, isn’t that just sweet?
9) Be willing to love – Love whatever life throws at you…and with a farmer it will be a lot. Take each new challenge and turn it into something fun and memorable. You can’t change the weather, the conditions, the fields, so you may as well look at it with a light heart.
10) Thank God for each day – I know I do. It’s not always easy, and it’s not always light-
hearted, but even the tough times can be good learning experiences. I’m sure Boss Man has tons of quirky things that I do that drive him nuts, but we’ve made it 10 years now…and that’s gotta count for something.
Here’s to the next 10 – hope my guardian angel can keep up!