My girls don't care about their hair. At 12 and almost 9 years, this separates them from many of their peers, and not in a good way. They really just can't be bothered to give a shit about it, which is both liberating and frustrating to me as their Mom.
It can be awkward, feeling like you have one foot in two worlds - simple, messy, homey farm life, and presentable, punctual, social "city life". I feel 100% comfortable wearing a tattered dress, muck boots and a sloppy pony tail in my front yard, but if I'm called suddenly to pick a sick kid up from school and have to venture out dressed in my farm shlubbery, I am beyond ashamed. I feel like I have to explain to every passerby that I don't really dress like this, but that I was just wrangling errant chickens back into their yard or turning a compost pile, all for the greater good of humanity. Why do I feel the need to explain myself? I know that the core choices in my life are right for me and mine, so why do I feel like I should apologize for not being what people have come to expect? Why can't I be more like my kids?
When I find myself worrying about how the girls are perceived by their classmates and friends, or by what passing strangers on the street may think of me and my parenting based upon my kids' funky attire and awkward yet bubbly social exchanges, I try to slow down and remind myself -
My kids climb trees.
My kids can milk a goat, catch a chicken and drive a nail.
My kids know that bacon was once a pig.
My kids can describe in graphic detail the complete life cycle of a chicken, rabbit or goat.
My kids catch salamanders and butterflies.
My kids would rather go to the County Fair than a Justin Bieber concert.
My kids get excited about rainbow colored carrots.
My kids love telling other kids about our animals.
My kids can drive a tractor!
My kids can identify birds by their calls and songs.
My kids don't know a thing about American Idol, the Twilight series or Jersey Shore.
My kids are proud of our life.
These girls are teaching me a lot about embracing what matters to you and satisfies your soul, and letting the rest of the world's BS fall away. I have a lot to learn from these monkeys.