Tuesday, January 29, 2013
My Father's Birthday
When I was a teenager, I remember someone in the family telling me a story about my dad's childhood on the family farm in rural south Georgia. This person told me that each fall my dad and his brothers had to miss so much school in order to pick the cotton crop that they would almost fail out. I never asked my dad about this, but it has always stuck with me. When I was growing up, he was INSISTENT that I get good grades, get a good education. I used to think that I had to work so hard to get where I wanted to go, but looking back I see things differently now. For one thing, I never had to pick cotton a single day in my life.
I did inherit a good work ethic from my parents though, growing up in the country where there is always work to be done and things just aren't as easy or convenient. I sometimes wonder what kind of work ethic my own children will have. I sure hope they have a strong one, but it's hard to know in a generation which is so drastically different than previous ones. We live in town, "country" work doesn't exist at my house even if I wanted my kids to participate in it, and everything is conveniently located just down the street, making instant gratification awfully tempting. I inherently learned how to physically work from watching my parents. Will my children learn the same thing from me?
I love that our children get to go to their grandparents' house every summer for a couple of weeks and live a different lifestyle. They get to feed the donkeys, look for chicken eggs (Bou's FAVORITE thing!), ride on tractors, and peek out of the bedroom window after dark to see if the deer have come up to the pasture to eat the corn they set out for them. Last summer they got to go to the "Brooklet Peanut Festival" parade with my parents. They both thought it was so much fun! Buddy talked about the tractors there for two months.
This photo was taken on our last visit. Buddy is helping my dad drive the dune buggy. He would wait for Papa to get home from work so he could drive us around the fields and we could look for deer and rabbits in the woodline. Those same fields my dad used to pick cotton in so long ago, I suppose...
Happy Birthday to the hardest-working man I know. Your family in Hawaii loves you.