When I flip through old pictures of my daughter, there's always one that makes me stop and grin. There she is all little girl with her blonde hair in pigtails. And there are her hands, wrapped around the steering wheel of a tractor. There is no mistaking it. I am raising a country kid.
Now let me explain that. I am raising my kid in a country setting, but raising a "country kid" is about more than location. It's a way of life, and it's an attitude. And if you've got one of these kids on your hands, there are some pretty easy tells. Take a look at this list, and you'll know your kid is a country kid if he/she ...
- Read about sidewalks in that Shel Silverstein book but has never actually walked on one
- Learned to drive a tractor before she lost all her baby teeth
- Knows milk comes from cows because he watched his best buddy milk one
- Has had a lifetime hunting license since his first birthday
- Has never tasted water better than the stuff that comes straight out of the garden hose
- Has gone to a birthday party where the kids' entertainment included one of the following: ice fishing, one small go-cart for all six kids to take turns whizzing around the yard, a slip and slide ...
- Waits all year for tractor parade day
- Considers a weekend a total failure if she has not gotten muddy at least once
- Has eaten anything killed by a relative
- Measures distance in hours
- Has been waiting tables at pancake breakfasts, ham suppers, and ziti dinners since she was old enough to hold two plates without dropping them
- Has never been caught texting at school ... because they can't get service there
- Has been known to walk around the backyard stark naked (and you didn't bat an eye)
- Has her own kid-sized helmet for riding the four-wheeler
- Can name every single person in her grade (not just her classroom)
- Has a teacher who regularly calls him by his cousin's name ... or his uncle's
- Rides her bike down the middle of the road because there are never any cars on it anyway
- Worries that her favorite teddy bear is going to get carried off by a raccoon when she leaves it outside overnight
- Stays up late on summer nights to catch fireflies
- Is immune to the smell of manure
- Has never gone for a swim in water where he could see the bottom
- Prefers to go barefoot outside
- Has a favorite tree for climbing
- Calls the person who watches her while Mom and Dad are at work her babysitter (or Grandma)
- Strips down when she comes in from playtime, ready to be checked for ticks
Are you raising a country kid? How can you tell?
If your kid doesn't fit, check out: 25 Signs You're Raising a City Kid.
Image by Jeanne Sager