Piglet snuggles

I stood at the kitchen stove madly cooking something for supper at 9pm on a school night.   Feeling like a bad mom.   The cows' meals often take priority over family meals.  Spring brings longer days, field work and fresh grass rotations that translate into chaotic late nights and poor school routines.   The bus shows up at my house at 635. When my schedule allows I just drive them but sometimes it doesn't. 9pm supper and 635 bus are an unfriendly combination when you are a 7 year old. 

Anyway I stood there grumbling to myself about not being a good mom.  Not prioritizing my kids.  My girls 7 & 4 each hugged a leg.  "You're the best mommy. Don't say those things."  I appreciated their love and the acknowledgement of needing better self talk, but inside the belief lingered.   

Saturday came with the birth of new piglets.   This is always fun.  Pigs are big and smelly and not my favorite but it takes a hard heart to not like piglets.   But this first time mom struggled.   Some of the piglets ended up in the corner far from mom and the heat lamp. They quickly got cold and weak.   We rearranged and helped them try to nurse but it didn't look optimistic.

It came time to leave for my son's archery practice.   The girls love to go because it's right next to the park with the best monkey bars.   Outside it was a beautiful spring day with perfect monkey bar weather.   My 7 year old sat at the end of the pigs pen with the weakest piglet  wrapped in a towel against her chest.  Every 30 minutes she would kneel and carefully hold it to a teat to nurse. Once it dozed off to sleep she'd return it to her chest.   "No this pig needs me."

Surprised at her willingness to sacrifice rare time away from the farm I hesitated.  "Sweetheart you know there is a good chance this piglet won't live."

"I know mom but I should do my best to help it have the best chance.   And if he dies he will die warm and loved."


As l drove to town I reflected on my earlier lack of motherhood confidence. Farm life is hard no matter your age.   I hate that we can't get enough sleep and they know the realities of death so early.  But listening to my daughter prioritize life over her pleasure I know we are doing something right here in the farm.   In this life,  that is often too short, choose love. 

PS:  Despite my lack of optimism the piglet lived :)

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