When we think about living for outdoor adventure, those of us who live in an urban environment are usually planning the next trip. The next wonderful location and activity to take the family to soak up some nature and build shared memories in the outdoors. Awesome.
But some of us don’t have to make these kinds of plans to get the kids out exploring. Some of us live in the country and it’s right on our doorstep (or actually starts at the door step)!
This week we bring you Tiffanie Terry, a mom of two, who with her husband, decided that country living was how they wanted to raise their kids. Tiffanie paints a wonderful picture of daily exploring and watching her kids grow up in nature, learning every step of the way. Here’s Tiffanie…
I grew up in Midwest suburbia, spending a good chunk of my childhood and teen years traveling the country with my parents and brothers to get our fill of adventure and exploration. So, the thought of my husband and I investing our money into land instead of travel had me sceptical. But it took just one visit to his childhood stomping grounds and I finally understood. While travelling had its advantages and fun, we decided investing our money into property was how we wanted to give our kids (and honestly ourselves) experiences.
Our two toddlers Huck and Elsie don’t know any other life but the farm life and I love that it’s the only way of life they know and understand right now. Corn, beans, wheat and cattle dominate their days along with tractors, combines and trees for climbing.
Four-year-old Huck doesn’t understand how my parents, who live in my childhood home in suburbia, are not farmers and has recommended on a number of occasions they move to the farm and become sheep farmers so they can be just like him…even though Huck is not the most helpful sheep chore assistant.
Every day is a new adventure for us. The kids’ days consist of climbing around in the barns, going for gator rides around the property to find a new spot to play and climbing high into trees to give me heart attacks just for the fun of it. I love the freedom of just picking up and going exploring, taking in mother nature without the hassle of driving somewhere to do it.
I can teach my kids about the beautiful earth and so much it has to offer us right in our own backyard. They have more hands on experience with growing plants than I did as a high schooler and probably just as much knowledge thanks to Ryan and his dad taking them along in the tractor during planting and combine during harvest.
The farm life has also fostered an appreciation for animals, which was an unexpected, but a much welcomed surprise. Most weekend mornings both kids get up with Ryan to “help” with chores, including feeding and watering the cattle. Elsie will hug the faces of the huge beasts and kiss them while trying to shove hay in their mouths. She especially loves the calves and being able to share the experience every time one is born is incredible.
So many learning opportunities present itself without even realize we are educating.
Having livestock has been the adventure I didn’t expect out of owning property and farming. Just a few weeks ago two calves weaseled their way out of the barn while my husband was gone and I was home solo with the kids. You want excitement (and terror), trying wrangling two bucking calves away from the road while keeping a four-year-old and a two-year-old away from said calves and the road! It’s an experience I still get sweaty just thinking about, although my son recalls it with such excitement and enthusiasm.
My absolute favorite advantage to investing in property is being able to get out and go on a whim. After dinner we can decide to head outside and explore without much work on our part aside from having the kids slip on some socks and shoes. When the kids need a change of pace during the day, we quickly throw on some shoes and I let them pick a place on the farm to go play whether it be the field, the river or even just out to the barn.
There is no need to pack up the Subaru and drive somewhere to burn energy and get fresh air. We can spend time together in the great wide open whenever we want and I can let them explore to their hearts’ content. Oh, and the sky at night out in the country can’t be beat.
The kids love the independence our property gives them; we never have to holler up the trail to them to slow down or wait up in fear of them getting out of sight or staying out of other hikers’ way. The freedom is good for these toddler souls. It also does a parent’s soul some good. There is space and I can finally just let them be kids and run free.
There is no one else out there and they don’t have to stick to the trail. In fact, I hope Huck and Elsie both learn to go off the trail because that’s where the most exciting, undiscovered things are!