Six minutes and thirty five seconds of wakeful peace brought to us by Elbow. Move along people, nothing original here, sleep depravation has me clutching at every straw. Bring it Elbow.
For six minutes and thirty five seconds, all the household members, new, old and feeling old were suspended in a wakeful bliss. There is a mountain of silage, I don’t say that boastfully but I say it with calm. The hay has been turned (what seems incessantly to this volatile post-partum farmer’s wife) and is now in bales in the field. On opening the curtains, the sight of these mighty bales prompted the man of the house to start humming Elbow’s ‘Beautiful Day‘. As it’s a household anthem, I reached for my iphone and played it…
Cocooned in our just awakened reverie, the song caught us all in rare harmony. At 7am in a farmhouse in North Kerry, there was a new family caught in 6 minutes and 35 seconds of peace. You, who has grown up in a busy household or are currently running one, know what comes at the end of the track. It ain’t pretty. In fact, it’s noisy. So, I have the genius of one excellent line to think on and in contemplating it will be carried through to the next feed, war on lego, saga and cheerio spill. Thank you Elbow; Sing it…
“Throw those curtains wide, one day like this a year will see us right.”
So the day is starting off as a Michael Bubl-esque swoony, swarmy kinda day. All my boys are asleep and the world is so peaceful that I have to write about it now. We’ll talk anon about what it will eventually become. Silage Day 2014; the Day the Whole Thing fell Apart, Silage Day 2014; The Beginning of the End. (Getting a insight into the farmer’s psyche on this day yet? If I was a veteran farmer’s wife or forsooth a farmer’s daughter this would be a walk in the park I’m sure. As a ‘blow-in’ city girl, I’ve been led to be terrorized by this bi-annual event and this year I’m not even cooking!)
So as it stands, the farmer has gone out to milk the cows, this is my first day to face the breakfast alone with three children. A small step you might say. The breakfast bowls are ready, uniform is out, Tractor Ted DVD ready to break open in case of emergency. It is also the hottest day of the year; keeping an infant fed and hydrated today (of all days) should be interesting.
Nana Cork is en route to mind baby number two who obsesses about tractors and would see all his Christmases come together with the arrival of a barrage of silage trucks and harvesters. In four hours time, this farm will be hive of activity; we’ll be bringing in our winter feed for the ‘girls’. To boot, the grass is amazing, it is dry and abundant. I hear some activity now, Brosnan number one is off, I’m away. Queue energetic rock song and wish me luck!
All things being equal, I can’t let this beautiful sun set without mentioning the father of the house. I will however, knowing my farmer, save his readily available blushes and won’t gush too much about him. Instead, I’ll tell you that we took our newest son on our camino to Sallies today in the blissful sunshine and he was beaming.
Nothing fazes the man, not hormonal wife nor beast, not impending silage cut or cross toddler. He is our constant when the rest of us are melting down at various stages of the post-partum day. When we’re crying, roaring for milk, cursing at stitches, fighting over toys; he remains calm. He helps us recover, in his calmness, taking a walk (a first for our youngest) and so led us gently into familiar surroundings, walking out around the farm, our home. He carried our young baby who is not overly fond of his pram, cajoled a toddler to keep going on his bike and soothed a wife who is sore and war weary. That the day might come when he might get some rest! Yes, he is our constant; We are safe with him, he is home.
For my Dad and yours. And then, for our farmer.
You see this little foot? Already there’s a pile of mixed up wellies at the front door for him to try. The ones with the yellow diggers or the what once were bright blue ones, the crocodile ones, the red motorcycle ones, the ones you can put on yourself, the ones just like daddy’s, the cross and bone ones, the good ones, the ones for the creamery, the ones that Conor left behind, the ones that Sam chewed, the duck ones. He might need a hand putting on the first pair but after that he’s on his own as he graduates from pair to pair, adventure to mucky adventure, from bigger brother to small and then smallest. His mommy might take a breathe this time to see her littlest move on from welly to welly, keeping an eye on this little one’s growth or then again maybe not. Life has moved so fast and I have tripped over, matched up, searched for, hosed down enough pairs of little boy wellies to know that while we should take the chance to see our little boys growing, this everyday farming life sometimes gets in the way. It hood winks us into a tunnel vision that means we don’t always slow down enough to just watch them blossom into lovely young boys and in time handsome young men. But what wellies to fill! What adventures to be had. No puddle will escape, every fence will be climbed, he’ll make his own holes, wear down his own soles, scream loudly on falling, laugh wildly on sliding, and with the help of God, follow safely in the footsteps of the one who goes before. Yes, these little feet have work to do, so let us get our rest my darling son, readying ourselves for the adventure ahead. These are the little feet of Anthony Brosnan, he has been named after another favourite Anthony of mine, my lovely Dad. These are the feet of the newest love of my life and I am one lucky girl in wellies.
In fairness to the man, over three pregnancies, he has managed not to compare me too often to a cow. Calm down, not size wise, although…. No, seriously, big mammal, carrying, labouring, delivery wise. He could have. I see the obvious analogies myself. Now that I’m six days overdue, I’m skirting around the topic. Well now, if I were a cow, for example, would I be restless, a bit skittish. Would I, as a cow forsooth, be feeling a bit cranky around the bull for example? Would I be listening to the other cows telling me that although they are not yet due, they’ve had their babies, I mean calves, in their sleep and would I be feeling a little bit jealous? Would every cow in the parlour be telling me that ‘baby will come in it’s own time?’ and would this be leaving me feeling a little bit irritable, If I were a cow that is?
Really, I feel like the last cow of the year to calf, every other cow has gone before me, a fuss has been made and now because the weather has improved, I can be left alone in a grassy corner of a field to birth away whenever nature dictates. Has mother nature forgotten me? Ah, Mother Nature, I’m a gemini, I need a bit of fuss, and a bit more movement in the childbirth department, and Mother Nature, just so you know, no-one puts Girl in Wellies in a grassy corner…