NEWS FROM SUMO SAM
I know a lot of parents are spending time working alongside their kids now more than ever — if this is a sudden change of pace, it can be a real challenge. Take it from a business entrepreneur with a family who home-schools full time: It’s good to keep your kids busy. I grew up in a somewhat rural town, and after marrying my wife, I told her that as soon as we could, I wanted to live in the country. Finally, after 22 years of marriage and multiple moves, we found some acreage that met the needs of our family. And best of all, it gave us an opportunity to put our kids to work. By way of pets, we have two dogs and a Mexican red knee tarantula named Chancho (from the movie Nacho Libre). Although she’s very mild, my kids were terrified initially. However, they couldn’t back out of Dad’s challenge to hold her, and eventually, they all overcame their fears. Our two dogs are not so scary, though. Ollie is a teacup Yorkie, and he’s a total prima donna. He’s got to have everything his own way. When you’re on the couch, he’ll sit right behind your head. He’ll curl up so that you’re forced to lean forward until it starts hurting your neck. We recently got a new dog named Zoey; she’s a cross-eyed black lab. It’s pretty funny to see them together because she’s basically 30 times Ollie's size, but he’s the one trying to assert dominance every minute of the day. HELPING OUR KIDS EMBRACE FARMWORK
Go ahead … Google it. It’s a real thing. We’ve also got Pekin ducks. (We had two Mallards, too, but shortly
before this went to press, they ended up on our dinner table.) Now, we’re in the process of bringing home pigs and
Nigerian dwarf goats. If I had my wish, I’d also add fainting goats (check out YouTube), a miniature donkey, and an alpaca to the crowd. What can I say? I think weird-looking animals are awesome! As much fun as we’ve had starting a small farm, ultimately, we wanted this change for more than just returning to my rural roots and dumping our HOA. We wanted our kids to have more responsibilities and more opportunities to work hard outside. We’ve found that for our family, farm work is a great way of doing that. Of course, it was a challenge to get them to embrace it, and some days are better than others, but we’ve seen a positive impact on our kids. In fact, my oldest daughter tells me it’s going to “make her a better mother because it’s given her an opportunity to have empathy for others. It’s hard work, but it truly means something at the end of the day.” What more could a dad want?
In addition to our pets, we have chickens and ducks. And not just any kind of chickens, either. Naked neck chickens.
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