Ohiofarmgirl's Adventures in The Good Land is largely a fish out of water tale about how I eventually found my footing on a small farm in an Amish town. We are a mostly organic, somewhat self sufficient, sustainable farm in Ohio. There's action and adventure and I'll always tell you the truth about farming.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

In Praise of R - The World's Best Teenager

It is a fact that I do not like teenagers. I don't even try to hide it. I can't stand the snotty looks, the schmarmy eyerolls, or the snarky comments. I particularly don't like to hear teenagers being snotty to their parents in line at the store. I always want to tell them all that their parents are "lame" because they spend their days working hard to provide a roof over their heads, food on the table, and no - no one needs shoes that are that expensive.

I could go on and on about the lying, the ridiculous behavior, mood swings, and the stinkiness (yes, they stink). One point of hilarity to me, tho,  is the amazed and disbelieving looks when teenagers realize they weren't the first ones to try that line of crap and were not believed. If you are a teenager and you start a sentence with "All's I was doin' was...." no one is going to believe you. Ever. You'll find out why later - when you grow up.

I can say all this because I didn't even like teenagers when I was a teen. You see, hard work and discipline have followed me all the days of my life. The Big Man, who knew me back then, has always said that my maturity level has been about 30 years old.. aside, of course from the stupid jokes.

So when I say that there is one teen out there that surpasses them all - and one that I'm absolutely delighted, inspired, and awestruck by... well, this is big news. Ladies and Gentlemen, I have found the perfect teenager - she lives next door. She's my favorite 4H kid. She's amazing.

I always knew she was good - but wow - recently she really showed her colors. Of course it started out as a day like any other. In passing, our Good Neighbor Mom asked me to check her on their goats - about mid-morning - as their goaties were close to kidding. I ambled over to their barn figuring it was no big deal. Until, you know, I got there. Then the big deal started.

At first I was assured that their doe was experienced and no, I didn't have to stick around. I stuck around. After about an hour there were lots of frantic calls, a lot of me being nauseous, plenty of pacing and peeking from behind my hands at whatever horrible thing was happening in that stall. Finally the decision was made to call R - who was at work. (I'll point out the obvious that R has a job. R = not a slacker.)

After an eternity (or 12 minutes) she drove up, unhurried, no muss no fuss. I had about worn a hole in the floor and in the soles of my shoes. After all my hand wringing and nervous calls... R declared that there was nothing to worry about. I worried. I fretted. R was cool as a cucumber. Pretty soon a vein popped out of my head. R didn't even bat an eye.

Then stuff happened. I dunno what - it was all too horrible for me to look directly at. I was on the smilin' end of that momma goat. I was pulling one way and who knows what was going on in the back end. But there were noises.. horrible...horrible noises.

Then R giggled and said "He's biting my finger!" She smiled and continued to be amused. Since there was no baby on the ground I began seeing stars and didn't want to know what was going on. But then I caught a glimpse of her - of R - she was looking up and to the side not seeing anything but clearly concentrating on something...for a second her brows pulled together and she said, not really out loud, "Hum... well these legs don't belong with this head...."

And then I could see what she was seeing in her minds eye. This girl, this young woman, this teenager was kneeling beside her goat, with her arm inside that creature up to her elbow and carefully untangling the babies. It was stunning.

Pretty soon out came one baby goat...and then the next. They were fine, they were better than fine, they were lively and happy. The momma goat was lively and happy. Me.. well.. not so lively and a little green around the gills. I was covered in straw, poo, and who knows what... R finally stood up she had exactly one spot on her white tshirt. She was smiling and completely unfazed. I went home shaking a little and started drinking.

If it wasn't for R I don't think that momma goat would have made it. And the baby goats certainly wouldn't have survived. If it was left up to me I would have had to get the gun and the shovel. There was no way I could have done that work that R did without even blinking.

I'm not sure that R knows how incredible she is, so I'm gonna tell her. R, baby, you are perfect and amazing and incredible and beautiful. You can go anywhere and do anything.  Everything you are is more than enough for anything you want to be. I think you are perfect and I hope you know that we love you very much.

Happy Thursday everyone! I hope you are lucky enough to have an R in your life!


freemotion said...

Wow....I wish R were my neighbor! You are so fortunate. Give her a big hug for me, too!

David said...

wow! now that is a tribute! Ever read the james herriot books? I read them when I was but a wee lad. They are wondeful!

Mr. H. said...

Amazing, we could use a few more teens like her in this world.

Tina - Our Rustic Roots said...

What a wonderful young lady!

Provender Place said...

I am in awe of the "white t-shirt people." People that can do dirty work and stay clean just amaze me! My DH is not one of them. My hats off to you R. You sound like a lovely young lady.

Susan said...

Too bad you can't just bottle what she has and force-feed the rest of the slackers. She sounds amazing and wonderful.

IanH said...

It seems that we remember the bad things about teenagers, and never look hard enough to find the good. I realize that we have to look pretty hard sometimes, but it's there.

It's tempting at times to tell them " Get out there and get a job, while you still know everything" :-{

Damummis said...

OFG~ When you are in your basement in the evil scientist lab will you clone her for me? PLEASE!!!

Robin said...

It's so nice to hear about a "good" teenager. They are out there.

Oh, and "The Italian" is one of those "white shirt" people. He can set up a camp site and tent in a white pressed shirt in the mud and not have one bit of dirt on him. I get dirty just watching!

rkbsnana said...

Wow!!! Thanks for the good word. Way to go R!!!!!!!!

small farm girl said...

Good thing R could be reached. And yes, we have an R in our lives too. She WORKS at the feed store. Wonderful girl.

the golddigger said...

Our teenage neighbor feeds our cats when we go out of town. He is the sweetest, nicest boy in the world. I just love him. My friends have really nice kids, too. Maybe they save their snotty behavior for when I'm not around, but I do like them!

Ohiofarmgirl said...

Thanks, everyone, for your wonderful comments! We really do need more people like, R, we just think she is the beez kneez!

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