We've spent a good part of this past week replacing fence. We cut down rose bushes and willows, reset t posts, and tightened wires. It is a never ending job, but I really enjoy it. There is something rewarding in a job done, and done well. Yes, we may get 10 feet of snow this winter and lay all the fence we've repaired and replaced this summer back down, but today after we the last clip was placed on a t post, the fence is perfect.
I don't live a few blocks from a day care, my mom doesn't live across the road from me, nor does my mother in law even live in the same state as us. My kids do spend more time with a babysitter than I like to admit, but whenever possible, they come to work with us. That is why we have the job we do. We like to take our kids to work with us. The Cowboss could be working at one of the mines, and I could be teaching full time, making significantly more money than we are now, but we wouldn't be able to take our kids to work, we wouldn't know our neighbors or our coworkers like we do either.
The Cowboss and I made the decision to work in production agriculture, not because that was all we are "qualified to do," but because we want to raise our kids the way we were raised. We want TR and QT to know how to work and how to work hard. We want them to know how to start a job and how to finish it, but more importantly, to do the job right the first time. Both the Cowboss and I grew up working on ranches for our parents, then around 12-13 years old we began working for our neighbors too. What we learned from our parents, neighbors, extended families, and the animals we took care of taught us a lot about who we are, and who we want to be. Now, the government wants to take that all away from us, and our kids.
There is a new bill proposal whose proposed regulations would make it illegal to allow a child under the age of 16 to do all of the following:
1.Herd animals on horseback;
2.Sort animals on horseback;
3.Operate any equipment;
4.Operate any vehicle, tractor, feed truck, ATV;
5.Operate any tool that is not powered by hand;
6. Or to even take care of sick animals:
7. And the list goes on.
What does our government have against teaching children the value of family, responsibility and a strong work ethic? These new regulations do not just apply to “paid” children, but also makes it “illegal” for children under the age of 16 to do any of these activities if they are done as “work” without pay.
Maybe we should quit our job cowboying, get town jobs, and buy our kids a Wii and let them start playing video games all day, because apparently our government thinks that is the best thing for them. Let me ask you this though, when is the last time you heard of a ranch kid robbing a bank, being involved in a gang shooting, or committing some other heinous act?