I mean, we do have coyotes, so they're not really that far off.
That's why it brings me unending joy to know that our nieces and nephews will be able to come to our farm, just like they go to my parents' farm, anytime they want to.
And also that we'll have kittens to entertain them.
And that we'll have sprinklers to run through while the fresh country air snaps sheets drying on the line.
And that, when everyone's thoroughly soaked and just a tad bit sunburned, they can all collapse in a heap on the porch and gobble up some popsicles.
It also tickles me pink that our farm was the place one of our favorite kiddos got to meet her first calf and proudly make a series of subsequent toddler "mooooos."
That's the stuff memories are made of right there.
It's also why, this year, we're ramping up the kids' visit to the farm by calling it camp and making them work for it.
That's right. This time around, the kiddos are filling out applications to attend. (It's never to early to instill that fear of college applications and FAFSA forms, right?)
I stuck an application for each child in the mail with a cover letter from the camp directors *I mean Chris and me* stating that this was a unique leadership opportunity that we hoped they've avail themselves to.
I don't really know what that means, but they got pretty excited about it, and that counts for something.
Now they're busy writing essays on why they should be chosen to attend and putting Xs next to events they'd like to participate in, which include but are not limited to, things like "feeding chickens" and "star gazing" and "nature hikes" and "camping."
And the fun won't stop there. While they're here on the farm this summer, bedrooms will be converted to "cabins," and beds will become "bunks." Moms will become "camp counselors," and my farmer, of course, is "camp director."
We'll explore more about Missouri and the plant life and history that are in it. We'll learn how to feed baby calves and how corn grows and why we chop silage. We'll take some hikes and do some journaling, and in our down time, we'll swing and read and do a craft project or two.
(Because who doesn't come back from camp with something made out of a toilet paper roll? Don't ask me. I never went to camp.)
We may not have a Target or a Starbucks on the corner, but life in the country has a lot to offer our little ones: space to run and squeal, dogs to sleep on under a spreading tree, chickens to feed and a sky that's dark enough at night to see all the constellations.
You want to come to our little camp? I don't blame you.
Go ahead. Fill out your application.
Out here, the country's big enough for all of us.
Did you go to summer camp? What are some of your favorite memories?