May 14, 2012 — Catawba River District Voices

Mother’s Day (and even the day after) is a great time to reminisce about family, children and all the wild times that come from them. I love being a mother, from the cute, curled-up infant to the towering teenager/young adult. And I’ve got to say I’ve been blessed beyond my dreams with my crew.

When we started this adventure of farming 12 years ago, the kids didn’t know what they were in for. None of us did. We’ve had some great times living on Rivendell Farms. Witnessing a goat give birth to twins … even triplets. Watching dad try to lasso a cow … hilarious. Harvesting a huge crop of tomatoes and eating corn minutes after picking it from the stalk.

And there have been some trying times. Times that make you want to go live in a neighborhood. A colicky horse. Raccoons taking all your watermelon and cantaloupe right before they were ready to be harvested. A row of beans to pick that seems to go on forever and ever. A black snake eating your chicks.

The Hardin kids are always there to help on the farm.
Times like these have brought out the best in my children. Perseverance, a work ethic that I’ve seldom seen matched by even many adults. Farm kids have that toughness because they’ve developed it day in and day out. Farm kids have to get up at the crack of down to care for their animals.

Before any showers or breakfast, Sarah is outside feeding and watering her horses. She’ll give them hay and unlock the gate to their fields. Ben is opening up the coop door to let the chickens roam outside. He’s filling their feed bin, checking their water supply and then collecting any eggs the hens have laid. Goats and cows have to be tended to as well. Day in and day out … when it’s freezing cold, raining cats and dogs, or hot and humid, my kids know they have to take care of their animals before they take care of themselves. And then again at night before they go to bed.

Our older two children have gone off to college but help out when they are back home. There isn’t any complaining … it’s just what we do. Consistency. Perseverance. Taking care of your responsibility.

So on this day after Mother’s Day, I want to tell my children how very proud I am of them and how very blessed I am to be their mom.