They’re Not Oblivious Toddlers Anymore… Time to Raise the Little People
This is the last year we can go without a plan. Katie will soon be four years old, and she’s already noticing we’re different. Pretty soon, she’ll want to know what all this tromping around the neighborhood business is about.
She’s already asking what is so special about candy that every other kids book mentions it. And it hurts me to think that she’s going to feel left out and strange. Again.
There are at least three Levels of Strange:
- Shopping exclusively at Whole Foods / Farmers Markets = Weird
- Meeting ranchers in parking lots to pick up grassfed meats = Fanatic
- Living the GAPS Diet life = Potential Lunatic
Our poor kids have enough strikes against them already, don’t they?
Before we married, I was NOT planning on letting our future kids celebrate Halloween because I am opposed to the celebration of fear. Despite how fun spooky things can be to some people, I’ve purposed in my heart to guard my kids against fear-based entertainment.
So FINE, they were going to be a little weird. But I know of HUNDREDS of parents who take their kids to “harvest festivals” which basically take the fear out of the holiday and put the focus back onto having fun and wearing cool costumes.
THEN we became super-ridiculous-potentially-lunatic GAPS Diet/lifestyle folk. Candy = out of the question. Typical fair / festival food = not an option. We are a BUNDLE of fun, aren’t we?
Sure, they can still do the festival thing and have a good time. But I’m tired of taking things away without replacing them. Our kids should have a richer experience than the norm.
A Vision for Our Future
Before we had kids, Heather and I talked about how we wanted to develop our own family traditions and holidays so that our kids would grow up with rich traditions that would mold them into the people we wish we already were. Then the kids were actually born, and our primary concern was how to get Heather enough sleep so she could function (Katie and Micah both had undiagnosed lip ties that made them fussy sleepers).
It’s time we return to the vision and create the future we want our children to have.
This image above represents an ideal. My vision for our future. A future that doesn’t necessarily have to be sponsored by Garden&Gun, but it DOES have to involve feasting and celebration and a certain earthy community feel. Harvest is a significant event. Worthy of celebration. Worthy of all-out feasting.
In this vision, our children sacrifice nothing of value by living the lifestyle we have chosen. Instead, they gain loads of rich, meaningful experiences. Fascinating conversations over homegrown, organic food and wine (and maybe even a little water kefir).
We gather our community together for a meal. We celebrate outdoors in the cool of the evening, with festive lights and the kids wear costumes. We are intentional about thanking God for natural resources. Everyone brings their favorite homemade dish. Together, we celebrate the joy of real food and good friends.
The Practical Side
It’s an economic move as much as it is healthy. By this time next year, I plan to have a small organic garden flourishing as we begin supplementing our prohibitively expensive organic real food lifestyle with some homegrown fruits and veggies.
Our celebration takes on a new dimension of earthy goodness as we savor the labor with our friends. Whether it’s a savory homemade cranberry sauce or a spinach and apple salad, we highlight our local homegrown foods and make them the focus of our recipes.
There must be wine and lots of conversation! Children will have the opportunity to hear stories from each family – the joys and the struggles that led them to where they are today. Our kids will see feasting and celebration and know that life is supposed to encompass even the most robust of occasions.
In my mind, it’s quite an elaborate setup. The setup, the decor, the recipes, the laughter. Commemorating the reality of harvest – that time of year when real food is gathered from the earth to provide sustenance and comfort.
I’m ready to make something magical. Who’s with me?