Lusty appetites must be fed, and the converting of wholesome food into sound minds and sturdy bodies is no child's play. It demands time and thought and energy and imagination. In addition to food, there must be flowers and fresh linen and the wedding silver on my table for I want them to be an integral part of my sons' education. Farm folk need to live as beautifully as any others, and doesn't cost a bit more. It is wholly up to the homemaker.
With the help of my partner I have taken entire care of my babies. I have suffered when they cried, and laughed when they smiled; I have known the discovery of a first tooth, and the pride of a first step. It is to me they bring each baby joy or sorrow, and all the freedom in the world could not mean what their confidence means. Perhaps I shall some day do a lot of my lost adventuring through the eyes of my boys, but have quelled my own wanderlust in order to make the little valley a home that will always bring them back from their wanderings. I am sure that I could not have shared their babyhood with another no matter how efficient or well trained. It has been too precious.
It has not been all roses. There has been thousands of small annoyances like water fights on clean white linen suits and mud pies down the front of rompers that I had worked half an hour to iron. There have been brief spankings and the attendant howls of rage, and the breaking of bits of glass that I particulary loved, like the soft rose beige vase of Brookfield ware. There was one week of zero weather when I took bricks and broke the tiny frozen garments off the clothesline, and there were sleepless nights when both children had whooping cough, and I was sure that they were choking to death before my very eyes. However, there have been plenty of compensations, and I would go through it all again to hear those baby voices saying their "Now I lay me," and to get those good-night kisses. Did you ever hold a baby, all fat and bathed and sleepy and warm, and feel it go limp with the touch of the Sandman? Drudgery? That is Heaven! the heaven of your own creation.
Note: I will continue with parts 5 & 6, in a few weeks.