Life here on the farm and in the vineyard used to be a lot simpler or maybe it was just me. Kids didn't compete before they comprehended. They learned from living the way we made our livelihood. They imitated and improvised. They worked alongside of me, not for money, but for experience and togetherness. They knew I loved them and will never hurt them. They knew I will always protect them to the best of my ability. And they knew I always loved them for exactly who they are and not for what I wanted them to be.
Something happened. Somehow that is not good enough anymore. When looking around me, I see parents strive to head start their kids. Parents' dreams of pitchers and ballerinas, of soccer stars, Olympic medals and scholarships - I wonder what happened. It is almost like kids and parents live a life of anguish and confusion. Life has become a constant compromise. What happened to being happy with just productive, imaginative kids with good manners and morals. Are happiness and confidence today just a by-product of parents' unfulfilled lives they are trying to live through their kids? Have parent and child labor been replaced with extracurricular activities? Is anyone happy with that rat race? I understand that time and expectations have changed, but I also understand that our kids' ability to imagine, help and imitate in the shelter of a parent's shadow developed many generations of exceptional, productive and balanced individuals all over the world.