My husband Houston’s favorite part of his job is leading farm tours. Almost every weekend he has one or two groups of overnight guests who have escaped the city and want to get a glimpse of farmlife. More often than not, some of them are young children.
We also have locals who schedule a farm tour for their family, school field trip or scout group. Last summer we had the privilege of hosting our county’s high school special needs students. In the past few months we’ve had two scout groups visit. And last week it was a group of elementary gifted and talented kids, who have been designing their own homestead as a school project.
Whenever it’s a group of ten or more, I come along in a supporting role. Between the two of us, we can usually keep things on track and make sure each child feels like they’ve been seen and heard, and that we’ve answered as many of their questions as we could.
Houston and I enjoy these tours so much because they allow us to see our farm through the eyes of a child. Children are rarely judgmental. They don’t care if there’s a project that’s unfinished or if Houston couldn’t mow because the ground is too wet. If they don’t live on a farm or know someone who does, young kids look at our place with fresh eyes and ask honest questions.
While we love watching other people’s children see, discover and learn on our property, it’s even more rewarding to witness the sense of wonder on our granddaughters’ faces. Sofie, who’s one and a half, hasn’t spent as much time running around the farm as her almost three year old sister Mia. But before long, we’re sure she’ll want to help with chores just like her sis. Feeding the pigs and filling their bowls with water is one of Mia’s favorite things to do on the farm. Checking for eggs in the chicken coop is also a must when she’s here. Even when they’re not here, Houston or I walk around the farm on our regular FaceTime calls with the girls so they can see all the animals up close. It’s the highlight of our day.
I think we can learn a lot from children. If we stop to view life through a childlike lens we can see what’s most important - running with abandon, playing with family and friends, taking care of animals, asking questions and sharing what we’re learning with those around us. It’s a life well-lived.
This piece first appeared in Sherry’s column, Finding Myself in a Small Town, in the May 20, 2023 edition of the Corsicana Daily Sun.