Saturday, May 15, 2010


Throughout my childhood, my mom read to me and my brother before bed. One of my favorite books was Charlotte’s Web – you know, the one about the pig and the spider? Anyway, as a kid growing up in suburban Phoenix, I decided that the farm life described in the book sounded ideal. It was clear that it was too late for me to be a farmer’s kid, so I announced to Mom,

“I want to be a farmer’s wife.”

She looked at me for a moment and replied,

“Why don’t you be a farmer?”

At that moment, I began to realize I didn’t have to step into the roles in my books, I didn’t have to live my life like the adults around me (including my mom), and I could make my own path. It was the beginning of my liberation.

I’ve told this story to a few people. The women who hear it usually respond with something along the lines of, “Go, Mom!” The men say something like, “You’d hate being a farmer.” or, “You’d be a lousy farmer.” which, of course, isn’t the point. *Sigh.*

My husband helped to clarify: the men who respond that way always knew they could be a farmer. They wonder why I didn’t always know I could be a farmer. They want to point out that being a farmer isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Now that I have a daughter of my own, I’m doing everything I can to let her know she can be a farmer, or anything else she wants to be. Although being a spider would be a little trickier.


  1. Hooray for letting our kids shoot for the moon. I think you and Roxy could totally corner the market on farming by the way.

    I love that your mom chose to respond that way. Sounds like a pretty great lady. But, then you're a pretty great woman so it makes sense that way.

    Thanks for this great post. I love it!

  2. Great Post! I think this is such an important lesson that we may forget to teach when the opportunity arises. I'm impressed that your mom gave such a wonderful response! I only hope I do the same when I am tested.


Real Time Web Analytics