Outta the Shade and In the Heat
When I was a kid, my Dad would get up early and "make" breakfast while my mom put on her makeup. That ranged from scrambled eggs to cereal to cereal with spoiled milk once. 🤢🤮
To wake us up, he would yell up the stairs...
Off you butt and on your feet
Outta the shade and in the heat
You're burning daylight
He said that's what his dad used to wake him up to. As I look at my boys, I am trying to toe the thin line between making them work too much and letting them be lazy bums. My Dad worked all the time as a kid growing up. He was the family septic pumper truck... bucket and all... He lost his front tooth when he and PawPaw were repairing a roof and he was falling and Sterlin dropped the hammer to grab his hand and knocked his tooth out in the process.
My parents didn't agree on the level of work for their kids - hell, they never agreed on much. Dad didn't want us working - I think he felt like he had worked too hard to watch his daughters toil. My mom wanted us to work to help her in the office but nothing outside. I grew up answering telephones at an advertising agency by 8 and calling for pricing and bids by 10. At 11, I was a popcorn girl at the bank on Fridays and a teller by 14 - I was also the janitor when the toilet overflowed in the lobby a few times so it was very glamorous.
One of my favorite jobs was working in a hot, sticky warehouse with a team folding boxes and packaging sports equipment. My bones could feel the work at the end of the day. After 5 years of a desk job, my husband and I started construction and remodeling houses on the weekends so I was able to keep up that good physical work while I was a Consultant for 13 more years.
Being on the ranch, I'm trying to teach the boys about profit margin, how to treat employees and teamwork, sales techniques, cattle handling and management, and budgeting.... Daddy is teaching them electrical and plumbing, how to shoot pumpkins and watermelons, feeding bottle babies and how to maintain an enormous amount of buildings both structurally and aesthetically. We try to kick their butts outside anytime the weather allows, let them explore the property on foot or bike or gator and we only allow TV on the weekends. But it is a chore. How much is too much? At what point of working will they resent the ranch lifestyle? How do we look into their hearts and see what they enjoy and foster that on the ranch while making sure they know that if their hearts take them to far off lands we will support their decisions entirely? Parenting is tough. I know I screw it up daily.
But my kids know when they hear "Ándale güey, Chicken Heads! Hubba Hubba" that they better get moving!