The lambs-in-tutus season is brief.
When the lambs are newly born, we're certain the tutus would frighten them. And so we've never tried. When they're too big, well, they're too big. (There is an upper limit for livestock in tutus, you know. Or so I firmly believe.)
And so it happened that this year's lambs all grew up and out of tutu size before anyone thought to orchestrate a second Project Frolic season of the lamb ballet.
All but one: Lacy, our newest arrival.
And then last night, Pete, Lupine and I were out in the pasture moving fences at sunset, setting up a new plot of fresh grass for the flock. When our work was done we sat down in the pasture and watched them graze; alternately chatting with each other, snuggling Grandpa the guard dog, climbing trees, and simply resting as the sun slipped behind the hills.
Lupine suddenly looked at me with a sparkle in her eye and dashed for the house. "I'll be right back!" she called.
And back she came. With the tutus.
I'm not sure when I have laughed so hard as I did last night. Even Sage emerged from his room, a camera slung over his shoulder after he heard what was going on. All it takes to bring us together is one tiny tutu, it seems.
It's possible that we won't have sheep at this time next year. We're considering moving our flock along to another sustainable farmer who is looking to expand from beef into sheep. It's a very difficult decision (like others we have faced), but we're hoping to have more time as a family for things other than farming during these last fleeting years of Sage's childhood. Lupine would love to keep sheep always, but we're all willing to take a break for a few years in exchange for more family time.
And therefore this might be it for a few years - our last batch of farm babies.
And one more chance to watch a lamb dance through fresh grass in a frilly tutu? Well, goodness yes. I'm glad that Lupine was here to remind us. It would have been a shame to miss that.
The truth, of course, is that sometimes life gets far too serious. We furrow our brows and sigh and get back to work, never looking up to see the eyes of our children and our loved ones growing ever older. Never looking up to see the sunset behind the trees. Never stopping to laugh or smile or play.
And I'm grateful for these moments of joy and levity that bring us back to center. Back to the things that really matter: family, joy, laughter, and these small simple moments that we spend together and that truly are the substance of our lives.
We are rich, indeed.
*Goats in tutus can be found here if you need just a little more.