I sat in the floor, looking through a coloring book filled with old-timey scenes. A little girl, dressed in bonnet and apron, picking berries. A little boy in suspenders, feeding chickens. I was dreaming of the life I’d have some day when I came to the picture of the cow. She had big eyes and a sweet face and I picked up a crayon in my childish hand and brought her to life in my imagination. I thought to myself “I’m going to have a cow, some day.”
I was visiting my grandparents, who had a farm. I stared longingly at the cows in the field and wanted desperately to go and pet them, but these were beef cows – unaccustomed to people – and there was a bull in the field. So I watched, and dreamed of the cow I’d love on, some day.
I was on the brink of becoming a teenager, living in a neighborhood but surrounded by farmland. I visited the neighbors cows every day and pulled grass for them to eat, until I was caught and told to stop. And I imagined feeding my cow, some day.
I was in high school, living in a different neighborhood but again surrounded by farmland. On the way home from school, I’d stop my car and watch the cows down the road from us, until another car came to hurry me along. And I thought about what it would be like, to look out the window and watch my own cows, some day.
And now my children, who remind me of myself in so many ways, get to spend their childhood living a life I have dreamed of since mine. A life surrounded by animals who give to us as we give to them. Who frustrate us and fill our hearts with joy, who make us laugh and make us cry. Who fill our noses with their sweet smells, touch our skins with their raspy tongues, and fill our ears with their beautiful voices. We get to be with our cow, today.
We are so very, very blessed.