This morning, I dropped my baby off at school for her first day of kindergarten.

First Day of Kindergarten

I haven’t cried…yet. Luxe isn’t allowing me a chance to. However, I feel like a piece of my heart broke off and stayed at school with her. I can’t wait to pick her up so I can hear about her day.

That Band-Aid on her arm is from a booster shot she had to get on Monday. We got her a little stuffed Husky dog named Slush for moral support. However, I only thought she had to get one shot. They informed us there were 2 for this visit.

Let the meltdown commence. She was bawling before the first needle prick.

Taegan doesn’t like to show weakness, so we walked back out to the parking lot where my mom waited with Luxe with a red face and wounded pride sporting Band-Aids on both shoulders. My mom hugged Taegan and said, “You’re so brave! Such a big, strong girl!”

Taegan sourly replied, “Actually, I cried…”

We got her buckled in and had to chuckle. It’s rough being 5 and beating yourself up because you failed to meet your own self-imposed definition of brave.

But, she is brave. Brave without even realizing the risks she takes.

For instance, a week ago, the farmer had some dry cows with the milk cows. She knows they’re dry because he writes a big “D” on them with a hot-pink paint stick. We have a dry cow pasture where all the expecting mothers usually reside, but he had been letting these few come in the barn with the milk cows to eat grain, but not get milked.

Well, he walks out the other day to find them corralled off in a separate pin that leads to the dry cow pasture. Taegan, our little wisp of a girl, had sorted the dry cows out of the herd and put them where she thought they ought to go. Dry cows need to be in the dry cow pasture, so, by golly, they’re going in there tonight!

Usually, the farmer gets angry when he finds Taegan in the holding pin with the cows. It’s dangerous. She knows that. As he started to get mad, he realized what she’d done and just had to stare in shock for a minute.

“Daddy, we gotta get these dry cows in with the rest of them.”

“Ummm…yep, we do…,” he said.

Her grandma has given her the moniker “Little Pol” around here. I don’t know if any of you are familiar with the show, “The Incredible Dr. Pol,” but it’s Taegan’s absolute favorite. She DVR’s it and watches the reruns over and over and over. He’s a veterinarian who has a HUGE clientele in Michigan and does a lot of work on–you guessed it–cattle. Taegan has been known to perform procedures on her calves. The other day, one had a “twisted stomach”, so she was caught getting it on it’s back and rolling it over. The calf was perfectly fine, but it took one for the team.

That being said, I asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up this morning and, with hardly a thought, she said, “A vet.”

It’s funny because right now, knowing Taegan, I can’t picture her doing anything else. That would be perfect for her.

Today is the first day of her academic career. It’s a milestone that begins a channeling of all this intelligence into more specific things. She’ll continue to learn more about what interests her and what doesn’t. Starting now. Kindergarten, to this mama, is the first step in the journey of growing up. And the farmer and I get to walk that journey for a while with Taegan, our little spirited, capable, determined daughter. We’re so proud and so blessed.

Peanut, Sassy Boots, and a Farming Phobia

Yesterday, we went to the farm. My sister, Bailey, had been wanting to come down for a while, so I brought her with me. I warned her that it was barn cleaning day, so she must be a glutton for punishment. I’ll have some of that experience for you on a later date.

First, however, I must show you my precious little daughter in her cowgirl boots. She really thinks she’s hot stuff in these.

If you wanna’ see somebody that’s sassy and fiesty, here’s your girl. And the authority with which she carries herself when she’s got these boots on. Such purpose. Such confidence. Such promise. Yup…we don’t see any end in sight for what we’ve got coming. I could watch her all day on the farm, though. She loves it so much and her face is just so full of excitement about every new discovery. The amazing thing for me is the fact that there’s already a duality to this little girl. She’s tough as a boot, but so feminine in the things that she likes. Baby dolls, nail polish, purses, pretty clothes and cute shoes. But, like I said, you put these boots on her and she is a farm girl through and through.

I have to admit that amoung my many fears of becoming a farmer’s wife, I had one that even though I knew it was totally silly, I just couldn’t get it out of my head. The farmer always said that raising kids in the country and having them participate in all the work that goes into managing a dairy farm resulted in well-rounded, responsible, hard-working adults. Judging from his family, that’s completely true. And if I were promised all boys, I wouldn’t have a care that they were raised as little dairy farmers. But having girls was another story….

Here comes the city in me again that jumps to conclusions before I have enough hard evidence to know better.

 I was scared to raise girls on a dairy farm for fear that they would be “butchy.”

There. I said it. I’m all about honesty and I honestly want my daughters to be ladies and all I could envision was some backwoods, plaid-wearing, pig-tail sporting brute of a girl that got her kicks off wrestling cattle to the ground with her bare hands, giggin’ frogs, and showing every boy in the county that anything they could do, she could do better.

How was I ever going to relate to the kind of girl I thought the farmer’s “raising” would produce? Meanwhile, I was totally ignoring the fact that the farmer’s four sisters are not the least bit butchy, but very lady-like themselves. Not to mention all the other women I’ve met since we started doing this that can balance hard-work and femininity so gracefully.

I’m learning, everyone. Please be patient.

Now I know I don’t have anything to worry about. Peanut shows me every day that she’s a little girl that already knows how to get what she wants by being totally charming and sugary-sweet. I think she already knows that a little grin and an ornery gleam in her eye goes a long way with Daddy. I’m onto her. I know what she’s doing. These tactics used to work for me and they still do. (Don’t tell my secret.)

I just can’t wait to watch her continue to grow and evolve into who she’s meant to be. She’s extremely strong-willed just like her momma and I know that whatever she puts her mind to will get accomplished. Because she’ll know how to work and be a girl.

Hey, I wonder if a pair of heels would que Peanut to act like a total city girl? Something to definitely ponder…

Up for an experiment,

The Dairy Maid