Fresh air, wellies and pletny of rows over who gets to go in the tractor with da – one of the most spectacular ways to bring happiness into a child’s life. 🙂
Here are some honest reflections on growing up as an Irish country baby.
#1 Young Lads
Fathers bring ‘the young lad’ with them pretty much everywhere. They become an exact forgery talk the talk, walk the walk, wear the wellies and overalls.
Driving a tractor, sure what else would your eight-year-old son be doing during the harvest season? He could be doing worse; picking stones!
#2 Moving Cattle
It didn’t matter if the cattle said ‘howsa goin’, moved themselves and closed the gate, the aul’ fella would still have to hurl abuse at everyone and everything in a five-mile radius. I think it’s just part of the job description.
#3 After Mass
This is a bitter, sweet one. You could be waiting around the churchyard for up to an hour after mass while the parents congregated for their weekly gossip about the obituaries and silage. Then again the journey to the shop afterward would quickly make up for the torturous wait.
#4 Being A
Was this even an option? There are very few distinctions between the lives of little girls and boys in the countryside. A football into the face, sure wha’ about it?
Barefooted, snotty nosed, knees grazed.
Oh and “I’ll never marry a farmer“ yeah right.
#5 Dinner time
Your poor mother. The number of random men liable to show up for dinner during the harvest ranges from two to twenty. The spread of food, well you’ve never seen anything like it. This is where the Irish mammy shines; Her ability to make a limited amount of food sufficient for any number of people! The downside to all this commotion? YOU DON’T GET A MORSEL TO EAT! “Shh stop I’ll get you something to eat later”.
#6 The Wooden Spoon. . .
FUN FACT: Did you know that this was once in fact intended to be a cooking utensil? Holy God this absolute weapon induced the fear of God in ya like nothing else. P.O.A: Hands on the arse and Run Forest, Run!
What else would you need? Not to sound too cliche but, on a long summer’s evening, there was nothing more enjoyable than a big game of forty-forty. Realising now that the more likelihood of serious injury was high. There could easily be twenty of you on the lawn absolutely slaughtering each other, and mammy’s pansies as well.
#8 The Bog
This was utter persecution. Alongside pulling wild beet and picking stones, there is nothing else in the world that a farmer’s son/daughter dreads more. The sun blistering your skin, nettles, and thistles reefing your ankles and the brother wrecking your head!
A few tan lines; all the thanks you’d get.
Our mothers didn’t have it easy did they? You could leave home at 9am and not arrive back until 8pm that evening. If only they knew about that dodgy treehouse you made in the rotting tree, the times you got stuck in the neighbour’s drain, or that bale your brother rolled over you. We’re lucky to be alive!!
Irene, JournoCub 🙂