Yes, that's Joel Salatin, of Polyface Farms in Virginia. It's my fault, as I bought One the young reader's version of The Omnivore's Dilemma* recently. He argued against spending his own money on it, but I insisted and bought it for him myself. He then proved me right (did I tell him he would love it? Yes, I sure did) by staying up past 11pm reading it ("But Mom, I can't put it down!") He now spouts wisdom (and a fair amount of disgusting information) about what's on the table at practically every meal. I am now considering buying meat that has been properly raised at a local farm, and he is full of energy and excitement: can we visit? does it look and operate like Polyface? will they know about his hero?
I love it when he's passionate about important things. I am eternally grateful that at 10, humane and healthy farming techniques get him more torqued up than the latest Green Day release. He has his "blah - I'm ten and everything bores me" moments, the ones when he practices being a teenager, but most of the time he's excited about and involved in everything that's important to him. How he got this way? If I could figure that out I'd write an instructional manual and retire early. But it's inside him, not out; it's not the result of something Husband and I forced on him as some cool parenting technique. It's simply what makes him his odd, endearing self.
It's hard to be odd, and passionate about different things, especially when you're ten. I'm glad he has the courage to do it, even though it can mean being alone more often than he'd like. He doesn't know he's brave - not yet. Someday he'll figure that out - or at least realize that he's capable of being brave when it counts - and that will be a great moment indeed. One of the ones that makes parenting the most satisfying, if I had to guess.
Although these ordinary, everyday moments - they seem to be quite satisfying enough for me most days. If I go to bed fairly sure I didn't get it wrong, it's food for the soul.
I got this one right. This time.
*Buy, buy, buy this book for your avid reader (or hunt it down in the library at the very least). If a generation starts to care where its food comes from, one of the right kinds of change might get here at last.