Last week my youngest, Cole, turned 12. Sometimes I can't believe how fast time flies and sometimes I wonder how he made it this far.
To know Cole is to love him, and I don't just say that as his mother. He is 12-going-on-68; he was born with an old man's soul and it shines through in everything he says and does.
When he was 2 years old, he piped up in the back seat of the truck and said, "You know, Mom, if I had a curly mustache all my dreams would come true."
When he was 4 years old, he was playing tractors and I heard a cuss word come out of his mouth. I immediately went to correct him only to find him loading his toy tractor on a flatbed truck telling me, "The d**n thing has an oil leak, now I have to take it down to the John Deere store for repairs."
I laughed. It's life.
When he was 6 years old, he asked what would happen if he peed on the electric fence. We told him he would get shocked. After contemplating for a few days he asked if he would still get shocked wearing his rubber boots because "they should act like insulators."
When he was 8 years old, he spent the whole fall in the combine. This wasn't unusual, but he had to keep a reading log for school. He refused to carry books – I am pretty sure he read the combine manual cover to cover for that log.
When he was 10 years old, he asked me point blank if people had to make babies like the livestock did. I said, "Yes, do you want to talk about it?" He held his hand up and said, "I'm sure I will have questions but not right now."
Somewhere in all those years he once asked Chris what it felt like to be shocked by electricity. "I was trying to fix an outlet Mom said didn't work, but if electricity makes your hand and arm feel all tingly, well, it works."
Related: Five Things Our Farm Boy Said
He once asked me for an extension cord and help moving the extension ladder. "I already have the Sawzall, I just can't move the ladder by myself," he told me.
On more than one occasion he has lined up all his toy farm equipment and held his own version of Ted Everett's auction.
At 12 he helps me hook up the livestock trailer correctly, tells me which way to turn the wheels when backing equipment and made me a gear schematic for the newest semi we bought because it didn't have one.
He wants to farm, never wanted anything else. Well, except to be a train engineer. Not that I am biased, but I am pretty sure the future of agriculture is in safe hands.
The opinions of Jennifer Campbell are not necessarily those of Indiana Prairie Farmer or the Penton Farm Progress Group.