Enjoy a limited number of Premium DTN articles each month.

You have 14 Premium DTN articles remaining.
To view unlimited premium content, plus access to tools & strategies, subscribe to MyDTN™, or register as a free Community Member to get 10 articles per month.

Our Rural Roots

Keys to Moving On

Blogger Katie Pratt had mixed feelings when her son turned 16 and she was no longer needed as a chauffeur. (DTN/Progressive Farmer photo by Katie Pratt)

This April, we celebrated independence! Our Farm Boy turned 16, which meant I got to retire as my kids' chauffeur. Most country-dwelling families appreciate the gravity of adding another driver to the taxi-cab roster. Multiple trips from farm to school and back again each day aren't unusual.

Farm Boy pulled out of the drive that first morning, heading to school with his sister perched in the passenger seat of his new-to-him pickup truck. They both had goofy grins on their faces, and my heart lurched.

I knew he was more than prepared. Our farm boy grew up in a tractor, and like many farm kids, he learned the responsibility that comes with operating machinery early.

The farm's Gator quickly became his "vehicle." He knew the countryside between our families' farmsteads like the back of his hand, traveling waterways and forgotten dirt roads to get from one place to another. He and his sister would take off at dawn: "We're going to check corn!" or "Going to see Grandma!"

I'd holler after them about watching for cars, wearing safety belts and being home before dark. As their comfort level in driving farm equipment grew, so has mine. It is not unusual for both kids to roll onto the farm behind the wheel of a tractor. Still, I catch myself in an audible exhale, unaware I'd been holding my breath. A mother will always worry.

I've realized the bittersweet part of this rite of passage is the road time we will no longer share. Those mundane trips to and from school activities bore witness to insightful conversations, laughter and occasionally, a few tears.

So, I've given Farm Boy fair warning: Every so often, Mom may call shotgun so she can stay in the loop of what's going on.

**

Editor's Note:

Katie Pratt writes, tweets and farms from north-central Illinois. Find her blog at www.theillinoisfarmgirl.com, and follow her on Twitter @KatiePratt4.

Top
We've detected that you are using an unsupported browser. Not all features of DTN / The Progressive Farmer may function as expected.

Recommended Browsers:

  • Internet Explorer 10 or above
  • Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Safari
  • iPad 2 or above
  • iPhone 4 or above
Join the community! Registration is FREE. As a member of the DTNPF online community you can contribute to discussions, save your settings, get exclusive email alerts and access to special online sections, and read e-newsletters.

Please correct the following errors and try again:

e.g. 68114 (US) or Y0B 1G0 (Canada)
e.g., 402-390-2328
8-32 characters, include one number (0-9) and one letter (a-z)
By clicking Create Account, you agree to our Terms of Service
Cancel
DTN, LLC • 9110 West Dodge Road • Omaha, NE 68114