The coops were dry, and the girls have learned that the waterers don’t fill themselves.
The rain beginning to fall, the work continuing until it’s finished.
Filling the five gallon bucket so the chickens have plenty of water for some time, it can be a challenge for an 11-year-old body to carry it back to the coop.
As she makes her way back to the thirsty hens (plus one rooster), I offer to help.
“I’ve got it, Mom.”
As the fence approaches and the challenge of lifting the heavy container becomes present, she knows it will not be easy. But how to do it? I see her, looking at the hens, then looking at the water container. And then again once more. I watch from behind the sliding glass door, hindering my reaction to open and offer to help once more.
Then I see her. Watch her figure it out. She may not be able to lift the water over the fence, but she can push the fence down.
And the once, “It’s too heavy”, is now the, “I’ve got this, Mom.” And the water is where it needs to be. And the chickens come to drink.
It is nice to have the eggs, and in the future, the meat. But the benefits of keeping chickens right now are far outweighing what they provide nutritionally.
Not only is she getting stronger, but we hear less of, “I can’t”.
Less of, “I’m not strong enough.”
Less of, “I don’t know how.”
More of figuring it out.
More of, “I’ve got it, Mom.”
It’s one of the reasons we moved out here – to raise our girls in a world of learning – so that they would know how to take care of themselves, how to take care of others, to have the confidence that they can.
The girls didn’t always take responsibility for these chores, but they’ve grown, and can help more on our land now. And more importantly, they know they are capable of more than before.
And I rest well, knowing that when they come to a problem, a situation that maybe they had unsure footing, they will have the confidence to face it, to figure it out, and know that they’ve got it.