Keandre’ and Zavier, our eleven and six year old grandchildren, couldn’t wait, were coming out of their skin excited, to come help Papa on the alpaca farm yesterday.
I don’t think they had any idea what they were in for. My husband wasn’t sure what they would be able to do, would be willing to do, or how long they would hold out. They started by picking up rocks out of the fields that had been plowed in the Fall, in preparation for planting hay this Spring.
The incentive for Keandre’, because he is the older of the two and with age comes privilege, was getting to drive the 4-wheeler and pull a trailer behind it! My husband drove the skid-steer and Zavier rode on his lap. Of course there was lots of time spent bending over and picking up rocks filling the trailer and bucket on the skid-steer, not a real fun job. For two young boys, driving and riding on the equipment seemed to make it all worth it! They picked up lots of rocks and made many trips to the rock pile to dump their loads. Zavier found two golf balls and you would have thought he had won the lottery! Keandre’ found a horse shoe which was also pretty special!
When they had gotten most of the big rocks up so they wouldn’t be causing damage when it’s time to cut hay, my husband let Zavier drive the skid-steer. Still on Papa’s lap, Matt told him to pretend he was playing a video game … and that made sense. A little jerky at first, he got the hang of it!
The next job was to clean a winter’s worth of hay and manure out of the alpaca barn. Zavier rode on my husband’s lap, holding his nose as they drove into the barn and picked up the first scoop of the very smelly, wet, nasty, yucky stuff. He could not stifle his disgust as he exclaimed “it stinks in here!” It was clear that was not a job the boys were interested in helping with.
Matt asked Zavier if he would rather vacuum the pastures. He would have said yes to most anything just to get out of that barn!
Matt hooked up the pasture vac to the 4-wheeler which Keandre’ was not about to lose control over, as that had become HIS job.
Instructions were given.
Zavier was in charge of vacuuming up the alpaca beans and Keandre’ moved their operation as needed.
They worked at cleaning pastures for quite awhile and did a good job.
Finally Zavier was tired. They hung in there longer than I thought they might. My husband gave them a little money, wanting them to know that hard work does not go unrewarded, then took them home.
They could hardly stop talking as they shared with their parents all they had gotten to do that day. I was proud of my husband for taking the time to spend with his grandchildren, not wanting to get so much done, as much as just sharing some life experiences with them. When they go back to school next week and are asked to share what they did over Spring Break, I think it’s quite possible that they might mention their day at Nana and Papa’s alpaca farm. I don’t know that it was the highlight of their Spring Break, but it might have been.