You know it’s coming.
The date has been circled on the calendar for five months now.
The paper chain hanging over my daughter’s bed, counting down the days, is all but gone.
All the prep work has been done.
She’s been allowed out of her pen, just her, each night to jump up on the milking table, and received a treat each time she has done it. She had her hooves trimmed a month ago. She got her vaccinations at the perfect interval. She was put in her own special pen a week ago. The one with her own hot pink water bucket that clips to the side. Her own feed pan, single serving sized.The pen where golden fresh straw was fluffed just right.
And the signs were all there. Her udder had grown to almost impossible seeming proportions.
Yet as I checked on her before leaving for a morning of appointments, she lay there happily chewing her cud. Her deep brown eyes said to me, “No worries. I’m good. You go.”
And is the part that always makes my heart skip a beat. Just for a second.
The coming home to two, brand new, warm, dry babies in the pen with her. Up on their feet. Licked clean. Drinking heartily.
Then the other best part.
Hearing the bus roar up the hill. Hearing the stomps of their sneakers hitting the deck. A brief second of quiet as they take in the note taped to the door. It reads: “Come to the barn. Love, Jemima” The ear piercing screams of glee as back packs are dumped and they race to the barn. Gently picking up each new arrival and thoroughly inspecting them. Noticing every spot and freckle. Scratches and praise for Jemima. A walk outside for the best spring grass. Laps for the babies to sit on and warm themselves in the bright sun.
The newness of the season.
The delight of new birth.
The hope of a new life.
All of this will never get old around here.