Last week our daughter had a big basketball game at her school against a neighboring town; it was the “Think Pink” game that is becoming an annual tradition for our school. FCCLA organized this event to raise money for breast cancer by selling “Think Pink” t-shirts. The basketball girls wear their t-shirts as their warm up shirts on game night and they also wear pink socks and headbands during the game. Even the boys wore pink socks during their game and several had pink shoe laces. Our cheerleaders forego their regular uniform for “Think Pink” shirts and pink pom-poms.
The money raised this year went to help one of our very own teachers who is battling breast cancer. Prior to the start of the game she thanked the students and community for their support and she announced she only had a little over a week left of radiation. The gym erupted in cheers when she announced this. When she finished her speech, she was met with a standing ovation from the crowded gym which had over-flowed out into the hallways. We truly live in an amazing little community, our gym couldn’t hold the entire crowd and many people were left out in the hall but no one seemed to mind because it was for a great cause.
Before Rachelle left for school that morning she reminded her dad about the game and she warned him not be late or he wouldn’t find a seat. Kevin had a difficult time with chores that night (it never fails) and he was a little late arriving to the game but he did make it in time to hear the speech from the hallway, and later he made his way into the gym to watch the girls play in support of their teacher. Rachelle was thrilled to see her dad made it to this special game.
Since November our weeks have been busy with basketball practices and games for both of our kids. Many nights Kevin and I find ourselves going in separate directions because our kids have games on the same night…….in different towns. This is normal for our area of the world and some folks have it much worse than we do. Just last night Rachelle had a game at 9:00 p.m. an hour and a half from our house and of course, Conner had a game too. Rachelle and I finally pulled in our driveway around 12:20 this morning. (Needless to say we were both pretty sleepy when the alarm went off at 6:00 a.m.)
Kevin normally takes Conner to his games and I have been taking Rachelle since her games tend to be farther from home. It’s difficult for Kevin to quit work on the farm early enough to make it to Rachelle’s games since they normally begin at 6:00 p.m. Several nights Kevin has had to come home from Conner’s game and go back outside to finish the work he wasn’t able to complete before it was time to leave for the game. This is the normal routine for farmers and ranchers; our work doesn’t follow a time clock or even the sun. We know when we choose this career the hours will be long, our clothes will get dirty, our backs will ache, and our minds will never be idle from worry. There will always be work to do and some days will be easier than others.
There are some days when our kids wish their parents had “normal” jobs. (Whatever normal is?) Sometimes they get tired of mom/dad missing out on special events in their life. Rachelle missed her dad’s presence the night she made a 3 point shot from just past the half court line as the buzzer went off. She was so excited and she was so proud of herself but she was also a little disappointed her daddy didn’t get to live the moment with her. I was there though and after the game I took a picture from the exact spot she shot from so we could show him later. No it wasn’t the same, but it did make it better for Rachelle.
Rachelle and Conner both know why Kevin and I can’t always be at everything. They know the benefit of farm life is that they get to be with us while we work – if they aren’t in school. They understand not all kids get this opportunity to learn about their parent’s jobs. And they love living on our farm, even if they have to make some sacrifices from time to time and do some chores during the heat of the summer or the cold of the winter.
And at the end of the day, we are just like other moms and dads, we thank the good Lord for all he has given us and we ask him to bless our family and farm. While our life has been crazy lately, we are just like other moms and dads who are living in urban areas working full-time jobs and volunteering at their children’s school while chasing after kids who also have a full schedule of sports, dance, boy scouts, or tae-kwon-do.