Open space, open hearts

"The property is 10 k's from one end to the other..." I'm betting if I was plonked the whole 10 k's away I could still see the beaming face of my little man bumping along on the quad bike surrounded by his version of heaven - a real life farm. No little plastic lookalike pigs or cows here - these are the real jumping, slobbering, doe-eyed, big daddy bull beauties. He is shining like the moon.
My boys, who normally scream all sooky la la if a dog comes within cooee of them, are sitting comfortably on the bike with their arm resting over Beau the working dog.  He's just been for a bit of a run - what seemed like the most part of that 10 k's - nudging and sweeping sheep along in waves through gates, abreast of dips in the land and to a new destination to wait for their lambs to slip into the world. 
Mr Cool School Dude doesn't usually like to get his hands dirty but today he's into collecting the bones of dead sheep and cattle. He paces over boulders like he's got mountain goat in him, clambers through long grass which says snakes to me, but adventure to him.  One skull is the size of my torso. "That one smells a bit, I think it's still a bit green.."  He's not worried, a bit of blood and body never hurt him, not today.
Bulldozer rides, a real life tractor with a hay fork, feeding baby lambs, shearing sheep and riding sheep! Blue sky, sausage sizzle on a hill with a view which lulls me toward heaven too, children laughing all day long, asking questions, playing and more questions again. 
The things we have learned about farming life on our visit to this beautiful place, with it's matching beautiful people who host us: No book could explain it to us, no plastic toy would test our children's bravery and ignite their excitement, their passion. No photo could seep into our hearts like the real thing has done.

Have a little piece yourself -
Gifts from our farm day hosts, and a wee memento skull.

Embarrasing Your Kids 1 ohh 1

Ahh, love it.  Now's the time to get a bit of your own back for the massive poo on your white linen trousers at your very first mothers group, or that day spent (unsuspectingly) with vomit matting up the end of the hair behind your shoulder, and of course we can't forget the old "mummy has that lady got a big baby in her tummy? [no, just lots of cheeseburgers]" severe embarrassment in the crowded lift.
The first EYK101 plan I've had brewing since my breastfeeding days.  I am president of the Itty Bitty Titty Committee, and am expecting full assault from two teenage boys and one little sister who copies their all when the time comes to tease your poor mother about such things.  My response will be:  Firstly to wait til there are as many of their spotty friends congregated, and secondly to cup my itty bitty's and announce, with jiggling motion, "These made 10 kilo's of each one my children, you know".  Ohh, I can't wait.
And now we've entered school, the games we can play mummy ducks. The "GIVE MUMMY A KISS GOODBYE SCHMOOCKY POOCKY" in the middle of a full capacity playground is standard procedure to be employed any time after their first term of school for the rest of their 13 years.
Yesterday I stumbled upon a good one to add to our list, by sheer, delightful accident.  I put a little note in Cool School Dude's lunch box, with words he has shown me he knows from his new journey of learning to read. However, he seemed to have - unfortunately for him - forgotten what the words were so asked his teacher for a bit of help.  She kindly announced, in the presence of the whole class having lunch: "It says 'Love you'", then also apparently turned around and told all the teachers on playground duty too!
All other lessons for the greater good of our children, would be gratefully received...

A little man

My heart broke this morning.
For a couple of days now there’s been a little boy who doesn’t want to leave the person dropping him off, who is his nanny, as in carer, not grandma.
He holds onto her neck for dear life, his skinny little boy legs dangling from the bottom of his shorts, goosepimpled in the 10 degree weather. He’s not crying – is he past crying he’s so upset? It could also be a game he plays, I don’t know any of them well enough.
"His mum’s away… She’s going away for weeks soon… Resort... Several marriages, two handful’s worth of kids and wanting even more...."
These all paint a picture which it is very easy to judge. I'm trying my darndest not to because who’s to say the way we’re raising our children is not breaking their hearts, or that this little man will turn out to be a got-it-completely-together, caring man of the church and ours will be jailbirds.  No book says what I'm doing is right, no book says what she's doing is wrong.  My own mistakes are obvious and all the time.
But simply the sight of him clinging to someone 20 years old and saying he misses mummy makes me want to wrap him up and bring him home to my warm house for some lamb chops, a snuggly blanket and some ABC TV on the lounge with our boys and I'll be his mummy for a couple of days.
Just can’t shake the feeling.