The Worries of a Country Kid
As you read this, I’ll be winging my way over California and Arizona and on my way to New Mexico.
Look up and wave hi if you see me coming by.
I’m headed back to Southern New Mexico for a purpose.
As I’ve told you, I take my job as co-madre very, very seriously. I love the two daughters of my best friend with such intensity that sometimes I forget I didn’t carry them inside my own body.
They matter that much.
My baby girls, now 8 and 11, are part of their local 4-H and this year they took on the project of raising pigs. They worked very hard at this, including helping their dad clear an empty space in their yard and building the pig barn.
Every day they feed and medicate and care for those little oinkers. They text me photos. They tell me how cute they are. Those girls are in love with their little piggies.
This weekend is the final part of the process: an auction at the Southern New Mexico State Fair.
I never raised show animals myself, but most of my friends did. I know from experience that the auction can be really difficult.
Especially the first time through.
As my friend said, “get ready for big crying.”
And I am. I think.
The Good Man and I will join forces with my best friend and her husband and we’ll hug those kids as hard as we can and try to make it better.
Because in the end, I’ll probably be the one crying the hardest. It hurts when my little ones hurt.
This is the dilemma of a country kid. It’s part of their 4-H training, learning to raise and care for animals, but knowing that these animals are also part of the food chain.
Most people don’t look at a bag of groceries and understand where, exactly the food came from. People think beef just comes in patties like that. Eggs are created in foam containers. Milk is mixed up back in the stockroom.
My girls know better. My girls are savvy and strong. They know the land and how to create sustenance from it. They join the long line of proud agricultural New Mexicans.
And so they’ll cry a little and grow up a little and learn a lot.
Or, hell, they might both grow up to be vegetarians after this experience. Who knows?
Wish me luck! I’m going in!
Photo by Gareth Weeks and used royalty free from stock.xchng.