Sure, every now and again I have come up with the kids.
Played with cousins, helped out siblings, seen a few sights.
But I haven't around for things like ... The Branding.
One of the family traditions I grew up with involved people, that by blood, are not family at all.
Yet they have held the place of love, tenderness and belonging in my life that I have mostly lacked from the people I am related to.
The tale of how that came about is for another time.
This post is about
The Bowlby's have a long standing late spring tradition of gathering at my grandparents place to brand and (when needed) casterate the "spring calves" (I use that term in the loosest sense). People come in droves. Cousins, in laws, neighbors, friends, annoyances ... you get them all.
Everyone wants to be involved in one way or another.The most important part, in my experience, is making sure the kids feel like they have a "job". So they too, start to feel the connection. Learn to appreciate the together times hard word creates. The fun that comes when you work with your family.It's a tender time for me, as I see calf after calf being branded, possibly for the last time, with the family "crest". Watching my grandpa watch his family, with more than a little pride. Seeing the look on the "City Folk"s face as we have them do things like ... castration.And being ever so grateful that even though we've all done dozens of these, I'm not the only one with this look on my face as I say over and over, "Sorry baby, sorry..."
Okay, Dawn, you can stop laughing now.