Free range is a term thrown around the farming community as a way of describing raising livestock, usually poultry. However, on my farm "Free Range" describes more than the lifestyle of the birds, but also the way the whole farm tends to operate. For instance, if my garden contains almost as many weeds as vegetables...isn't that just free range? Well, that is what I tell myself when I haven't gotten around to pulling weeds for weeks.
If my kids are running around like wild animals....are they just free range kids? Occasionally this method of living can be a bit unnerving. For instance yesterday while I was inside doing chores, Charlie, who is four, was outside playing with the goats...no big deal usually. Checking out the window every few minutes I was keeping track of him, even though he didn't suspect my spying.
Suddenly, he was gone...out of the goat pen! I scanned the area and finally spotted him. He had climbed almost to the top of a large tree in the goat pasture. I quickly went outside to see if he needed help, but no, he didn't want help, he didn't want to come down. His cat, Smokey, was right up there with him keeping him company. Charlie very impatiently explained, " I like the view from here, so I don't want to come down! And Smokey doesn't either!" Finally I convinced him that it was getting dark and that I needed his help in the house and he obliged to climb down. I watched from below as he gingerly made his way back to his "ladder" he had devised to get up the tree, and then jump back to ground. Oh, boy!
Teacher. Student. Mother. Daughter. Sister. Wife. Farmer (well... I try).