Brett sounded happy but exhausted. He wasn't sure what to do with the calf as he had not got it to take to the bottle and he seemed to be nursing from his mother (if he was there to supervise and assist). Or, at least that's what I think he said? Between the new calf, traveling south to Cold Antler, the new horse, PHD work, a storm in the works, finding farm care for the holiday, cooking a ham on time, and everything else–he seemed a bit out of sorts. I told him to do whatever made his holiday more enjoyable for him. If that meant bringing the calf so he could keep an eye on it, do that. If it meant getting a farm sitter and leaving him there, then do that. And If it meant staying home and not worrying about anything but dinner on the table, then do that.
So I have no idea what is in store for Christmas. Brett could show up with Sadie the mare and Atlas the ram in a horse trailer, or a newborn calf. He may not show up at all too. I have a feeling he will. Over the years of knowing him I have learned one solid truth: once he decides to do something, it's getting done. My guess is he'll show up with a ram, a six-pack of stout beer, and a defrosted ham. That's Brett's story. And here is mine. I am thirty years old and feeling like the kid waiting for surprises under the tree on Christmas morning. Will I get to see a pony? A baby cow? A red shiny new horse cart? Will I get to see the ram I raised last summer? The possibilities are out there and no matter the outcome (pun ahead, sorry)— it's a Wonderful Life.
Sometimes this farm, and all it is to me, seems to be a bridge between adulthood and childhood. I mean that in the best ways possible. A place that connects me to experiences and emotions I lost long ago. We all lose them, never on purpose. You grow too thick a skin while your teens and twenties mess with you. It's self preservation. But as I get older I am learning to appreciate a little wonder and naiveté. It may be dangerous at times, even reckless, but it keeps me feeling alive.
Excited for Christmas morning at thirty? You better believe it.