Yet another reason I love living in Tryon: It’s easier to raise kids!

Published 10:00 pm Friday, April 8, 2016

Raising children is one of life’s greatest joys. It’s also difficult work. In fact, studies show that parenting decreases happiness. Why? It’s stressful! You have to feed and bathe them daily, etc. It’s hard work!

Last weekend, as my wife and I sat down to spend some time together (at 8:30 p.m., mind you), I looked back on the day wondering where it went. I was exhausted and drained. It was a Saturday, and we spent the day at my son’s first ever soccer game, followed by a kite-flying festival at FENCE and then onto a local chili-cooking contest. This sounds like such a great day and it was. But, at very few points throughout the day, did I actually have the chance to talk to my wife about something other than where our kids were, what we were going to feed them and where we were headed to next. This experience got me thinking, “Why do I spend my entire weekend catering to my kids?”

As a child, I remember roaming around the neighborhood and my grandparents’ farm for hours at a time and without adult supervision. Some of my fondest memories and greatest lessons learned happened on the farm or out in the neighborhood just being a kid. My mom and dad cared about me, but they were not all that worried about me. I learned a lot of great lessons while out there fending for myself such as:

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1. How to get a motorcycle unstuck (that’s right, I had a motorcycle)

2. Why not to shoot your friends with a BB gun (yep, I had a BB gun too)

3. How to fix whatever means of transportation got me where I was when it broke down and

4. What to do when an angry mama cow starts chasing you (Hint, don’t run in a straight line).

One of the main reasons we moved to Tryon was to raise our kids in a place where they could be free to roam and explore while hopefully not causing irreparable harm to themselves or others. The fact that my kids will have to work to entertain themselves as they grow up is a GOOD thing! They will be exposed to farming, the arts, wide-open spaces and a community that looks out for them. (Right everyone?)

They will also have the chance to figure a lot of things out on their own. My days of catering to their every want and desire are over.  (What’s that Jack? You need some water? Ok, I’ll be right there sweetie. You want ice? Ok, coming right up.) Sorry, where was I? Oh, right, not catering to my kids. . .

I love my kids more than anything, but the next time they walk up to me and say, “I’m bored,” my response is going to be, “Have you finished your chores? If yes, get outside and figure it out, I’m hanging out with my wife” (aka: your mom).

Giving my kids this freedom feels like the ultimate gift of love. Our job as parents isn’t to just be their friend, it’s to teach them how to stand on their own two feet. Raising them in Tryon, N.C. makes that job a whole lot easier!

– Submitted by Michael Baughman