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A different perspective

I am not, by habit, an overly optimistic person


April 15, 2008
By Marg Land


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I am not, by habit, an overly
optimistic person. Not to say that I’m a “gloomy Gus” or walk around
with a cloud of doom above my head, but Pollyanna or Rebecca of
Sunnybrook Farm were never heroes of mine and have never, to my
knowledge, been mentioned in the same sentence as my name.

I am not, by habit, an overly optimistic person. Not to say that I’m a “gloomy Gus” or walk around with a cloud of doom above my head, but Pollyanna or Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm were never heroes of mine and have never, to my knowledge, been mentioned in the same sentence as my name.

Those around me have different descriptions for my personality – my mother says I’m “moody,” my father believes I’m “downright depressing,” my siblings have always described me as “weird” while my husband, being the intelligent man that he is, remains mum on the subject. Personally, I like to think of myself as “introspective” and “realistic.”

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But I have to admit that nothing can make a bad day better and chase away traces of doubt like the philosophical and insightful ramblings of my children – Madeline, five, and Alexander, two. Now, I admit, I am a proud mother and can chin-wag all day about my little ones, ad nauseam (just ask my poor coworkers). But it seems that children have an interesting perspective on the world and can help others to see things from a different direction and point-of-view, exactly what’s needed when you’re stuck in a rut.

So, in light of the current doom and gloom discussions currently taking place in Canadian agriculture, including horticulture (apple-dumping, unequal support payments, increased global competition on the domestic market, weather concerns, etc.), I thought I would share some of my children’s views of life and the world, to help brighten everyone’s day, at least for a little while, and help provide a different perspective.

Now, of my two children, the oldest, Madeline, is definitely the “talker,” singing and chatting from the backseat of the van about everything from the wrinkles on elephants to the inner workings of Christian religions (we haven’t branched out into other belief systems yet). Considering Alexander has just turned two, he still has a little while to go before he can keep up with his sister’s lightening-fast tongue.

In Madeline’s world, our small farm is located in “Oh Canada” (it used to be “Old Canada” until she finally deciphered the words of the national anthem) and is surrounded by many other lands, including Waterford, Simcoe and the dreaded Buffalo, which she describes as “dirty” and “very grey.” She is somewhat bored with rural life and begs her father and I on a regular basis to move to the “city,” which is her descriptor for any place that has both a McDonald’s and a Wendy’s (preferably on the same street). In her mind, moving is rather simple because you just leave all of your belongings, including your pets and vehicles, at your old house and trade them with another homeowner, who then moves into your old home and you into their’s, taking over ownership of their pets and vehicles (you do get to bring your favourite toys, though).

Like most kindergarteners, Madeline believes in monsters, ghosts, aliens, flying saucers, man-eating spiders and is convinced there are the bones of a full-size dinosaur buried in the sandbox in our backyard. She is terrified of the vacuum cleaner (I’m not fond of it either). Her blankies, which all have their own names, have magical powers and will protect you from anything, as long as they’re over your head. She is trying to teach our dog, Jasper, to talk and believes if she can just run a little faster and yell a little louder, she will be able to catch one of the barn cat’s kittens. When she grows up, Madeline plans on being a grandma but is having a hard time understanding she will most likely have to become a mommy first.

The concept of work is a bit hazy for Madeline. She believes her father is an airline pilot and when he goes away on trips for work, he is actually the one flying the plane. She knows her mother has an office and a computer and loves the neat sprayer toy on her desk (part of a press release for a new potato product) but isn’t sure exactly what she does, believing it may involve shopping as Mommy always comes back from trips with new toys for both Maddie and her brother.

Every day for Madeline is a new adventure. She may fly to the moon or play with baby bunnies in the barn, swim in the bathtub or explore the dark cave under Mommy’s desk. There are no worries, except for what’s for lunch and dinner and whether she can make it to the washroom in time. It’s a refreshing and wonderful way to look at life. And I’m glad I can share just a little bit of it with her. And you.

Have a great holiday season with your family and I hope to see you all at the conferences and annual meetings in the New Year. ¶