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A Mother's Day of a different kind

By Holly Martin

Most moms across America spend their Mother’s Day with breakfast in bed or an afternoon of relaxation. They probably sit on their porch and sip iced tea or treat themselves to a nap.

I, on the other hand, spent my Mother’s Day with pig manure on my jeans. And my hands. And truth be known, there was probably a little in my hair too.

And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Why? It is probably best described by this conversation.

“You did a great job this weekend. What did you think of your first pig show?”

With a huge grin on his face, he said. “It was awesome!”

What better testimony is there than that? Our youngest son followed in his big brother’s footsteps this weekend, showing for the first time as a 4-Her. He has already spent countless hours at the barn and received more dad and brother instructions than a 7-year-old brain should be able to absorb.

So instead of getting teary-eyed over a hand-drawn card, I was bleary-eyed from lack of sleep. But I wasn’t the only one. There was an entire congregation of moms in the same boat, with show clothes in one hand and cameras in the other.

We spent our Mother’s Day working together with our kids. We spent the day watching them get up before the sun to feed and bathe their animals. We spent the day differently, perhaps from the image of what Mother’s Day should be, but we didn’t care. In fact, I think we all loved it.

And the thing is, for farm and ranch families, this story isn’t uncommon. Kids help. They work. And they do it beside their parents. Not just on special days—every day.

But there’s more than just the interaction of working together as a family. It’s sharing the experience with other families who have the same goals and priorities for their children. It does my heart good to see my boys making friends with those kids.

On this particular weekend, there were games of ninja. I asked the rules, listened to them, and still don’t understand. It has something to do with striking a pose and not touching the other player in the circle, or not touching them on the hand—or something. It really doesn’t matter. The point is they were playing. No electronic device in sight.

Did you catch that? No electronic device in sight. They were too busy having fun and enjoying the work to care.

It’s those things—the enthusiastic, “I love it,” the made-up games, the high fives and fist bumps—that make the lack of bouquets and breakfasts in beds just fine with me.

Because when you are a mom, or a dad for that matter, what’s more important than giving kids experiences that will serve them well their entire life? In fact, that’s what being a mother is all about.

Holly Martin can be reached by phone at 1-800-452-7171 ext. 1806, or by email at hmartin@hpj.com.

Date: 5/20/2013

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