This one is for the mothers. The ones serving in the hardest places. Those whose children have special needs. Those whose children are battling addiction or illness or struggling to overcome difficult choices. Those who love children they have lost. Those raising not just their children but their grandchildren.
There’s much to say about the similarities between raising children and chickens. Both make a mess. Both require firm boundaries (apologies to the neighbors with the wild-bird feeder that my hens find so alluring). And both have a seemingly endless appetite and propensity to excrete smelly droppings.
Growing up, I didn’t participate in many organized summer activities. In elementary school, my farming mom once dropped my brother and me off at a one-week camp in the Oregon woods. I remember the name of my councilor, Strawberry; a scary game in which we chased each other around in the dark; and feeling very, very homesick.