May 12, 2020

I held him longer than I normally do today. I patiently rocked him to sleep this morning for his morning nap. I cuddled him longer before taking him up to bed. My precious boy has seemed a little grumpier than usual these last couple of days. Maybe he is starting another tooth, or maybe, just maybe, he can sense my inner turmoil over the COVID-19 pandemic, which seems to be resurfacing once again. I held him longer today because he is the one who grounds me, who makes me feel sure of myself, reminds me of my purpose in life. His warmth calms my anxious heart. No matter how hard I try to block it out, fear of what is happening around us always seems to find a crack to seep through. Just when I begin to feel things might be changing for the better; that we’re going to be okay, I hear horror stories of what is happening to those affected in the hospitals. Or I’m told a friend’s loved one has been confirmed a positive case. It’s a reality check for me. I may choose to be in denial in order to cope, but the truth is, the danger is still out there. If I let my fears sink in too deep, I may not be able to pull myself out of the hole I fall into. I cannot allow this to happen. My son needs me and so does the rest of my family. So, I live not in denial, but I choose to stay positive and to continue to find ways to keep busy and strong.

The door is closed, confining us to his tiny bedroom. Right now, it’s the warmest room in the house. I smile down at my sleeping boy. His breathing has finally slowed, his long lashes curl up towards me as his eyes flick back and forth behind his closed lids. This is our safe haven, a place where we can block out the rest of the world. It doesn’t matter that there are dishes to be done, or that the floor needs to be swept. All there is, is the here and now as we rock back and forth in our rocking chair. Our chair seems too small for us now as he sleeps awkwardly in my arms. How has it already been eleven months since this beautiful, soft skinned, blue eyed boy came into this world, blessing me with the title of “a new mother”. If only the world shutting down for the time being meant that our children’s growth would pause along with it. So many mile stones have been reached and yet they cannot be easily enjoyed or share with loved ones outside the tiny bubble we have created around us. It is extremely frustrating and discouraging, but at the same time we must remember we are still lucky. We are lucky to have smartphones, where video chats can easily be done, so family isn’t missing out on everything. Watching and blowing kisses through a screen is still not the same as holding a loved one in your arms but it’s certainly better than nothing. Those of us who live in rural areas and communities should especially be grateful for all the open space and fresh air that allows us to get outside, clear our heads and still manage to find ways to see others while practicing social distancing.

As I drove home from meeting with a friend to give her old clothing to make into masks, I couldn’t help but notice all the farmers in the fields getting their crops in, fertilized or turning up the ground. Vehicles parked in the laneways, probably wives… or husbands…. Delivering lunches to their never stopping loved ones and employees. Seeing this put a big smile on my face. The familiarity of it brought a sense of calm and assurance over me. Knowing that farmers are working long hours in the sun and wind to make sure their animals and family will be fed, reminds me that nothing has changed for them. The show must go on.  Farming; hard work, determination, responsibility and love. All important virtues I learned growing up which helped shape me into who I am today. I am so thankful that my son is going to grow up learning the importance farming has in this world, the same way his mother and father did. I hope it shapes him into an animal and land loving human being who takes the time to be thankful and appreciate the importance of what mother nature provides for us.

Today I held him not only in our chairs, but also in the tractor as we seeded soya beans with daddy. We don’t see him as often during the day any more, so we go for a ride whenever we can. Those sky-blue eyes were wide with excitement as we bounce along. So many different things to look at and listen too. The sound of the engine, the ground crumbling under the tires and most enjoyably, daddy’s voice as he proudly explains to us what is in his fertilizer mix and how it works. Not much gets a farmer more excited than being able to talk about farming, especially to those who are eager to learn. When we were finished, we walked back home, my giggly littler farmer a top my shoulders. We stop to visit the pond where daddy’s ducks, geese and swans are preparing to bring their own little ones into the world (we hope). Once again, his eyes are wide with fascination. There are so many magnificent discoveries in the world around us. As infants we can’t take it all in fast enough, but as adults we often forget to appreciate the beauty around us and how it can make us feel. We let ourselves be consumed by fear, which often leads to misery and other horrible feelings. This is why it is important to take the time to hold the ones you love a little longer or find a space that makes you feel safe, away from the rest of the world. Don’t take the small precious moments for granted and remember to see the glass as half full, not half empty.