June 8 2021 09:44 AM

Between work and play, farm children don’t waste any time over their summer break.

The bucket of a parked skidloader can make a convenient place for an afternoon nap.

Summer break is just around the corner for most kids. My farm boys have just two weeks of school left while many others are already out of school. It’s the time of year that kids look forward to the most, a magical time in childhood.

This is the time of year that always seems to bring a little farm guilt into my Mama heart. Everyone else is sharing their summer plans, and, while still somewhat modified this year, those plans often seem full of adventures. Farm family summer plans obviously contain a lot of work.

But that guilt that our summer plans look different than the average family’s is quickly replaced with joy when I really think about what this time holds. Sure, there’s a lot of work to accomplish, but our farm children also get the gift of pure and simple childhood.

While other parents try to come up with ways to keep their kids from being bored, farm kids know better than to utter the “b” word. If they can’t find ways to entertain themselves, there’s always an extra chore that can be taken on. Watching the creative play of my farm kids between chores is probably one of my favorite aspects of farm life.

Adventures around the property, endless games in the cottonseed, creative ways of cooling down on those hot days, and even “naps” in the skid steer bucket mean time passes quickly. Our farm kids seem to find plenty of ways of making the most of these precious summer months.

So even while our summers might look much different than that of the average family, there is so much our kids are getting to experience, learn, and enjoy. Just don’t forget the extra ice cream sandwich occasionally!

Darleen Sichley

The author is a third-generation dairy farmer from Oregon where she farms in partnership with her husband and parents. As a mother of young sons who round out the family-run operation as micro managers, Darleen blogs about the three generations of her family working together at Guernsey Dairy Mama. Abiqua Acres Mann's Guernsey Dairy is currently home to 90 registered Guernseys and transitioned to a robotic milking system in 2017.