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Ben Hewitt - Livin' the Good Life

Dec. 4th, 2013

09:13 am - Ben Hewitt

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I follow a fascinating blog called, simply, "BEN HEWITT" (the author's name). I don't know why I like it so much, because most of the topics are pretty foreign to me. The other blogs I visit regularly are written by women, from a woman's point of view, and they chronicle the domestic life of women with children, whereas, this blog is definitely coming from a father's AND a "MANLY" man's point of view.
This guy lives with his wife and two sons on a 40 acre farm in Vermont. He is a writer by trade, but spends a great deal of time working his land; raising livestock, farming, harvesting and preserving food, living off-the-grid as much as possible, butchering his own meat, cutting his own firewood, milking his own cows, and at the same time "unschooling" his two sons. When he's not doing those things, he is writing. He writes for magazines and authors his own books. He lectures about the things he writes about, so he does a bit of traveling, too. He seems to have a very high regard for his wife, who appears to be just as skilled and hardworking as he is, so they make an excellent team. He has a unique way of raising his children, at least in this day and age. Two hundred years ago, it would have been considered a normal way to raise children on a farm. He considers today's children to be weak and pampered and lacking in important life-skills. He doesn't actually say that, but it is implied by him holding his own children as examples of skilled and confident, healthy, contributing members of their family. From what I can gather, I believe they are.

I encourage my readers to take a look at his blog http://benhewitt.net/ and see what I mean.

Having raised five sons, I can relate to Ben's approach in some ways. I definitely was not a "hovering" mother, meaning I didn't watch my children that carefully after a certain age. I trusted them and gave them space to do and try things on their own. I WAS an "enabler", meaning I tried to make things possible for them by driving them to the things they wanted to do that were far away, signing them up for things they were interested in, and being their cheerleader. I let them take risks and do "dangerous" things, within reason. I looked the other way when Steve did what I considered "dangerous" things with them. I approved and tolerated roughhousing. I allowed skateboarding in the house, couch jumping, couch vaulting, and wrestling matches. I accepted the fierce competition that reigned in our household, even though I have hardly a competitive bone in my body. I actually enjoyed and welcomed the high energy that existed in a household full of testosterone. Though, in retrospect, I wish I'd had a girl or two, I wouldn't trade a houseful of boys for a houseful of girls. No way!

Today, our sons are full-on adults, and they no longer wrestle or physically compete with each other. But they do DEBATE, and I believe that is the mature version of the things that went on daily in our home as they were growing up. They are all smart, articulate, and OPINIONATED, often differing in their opinions and perspectives. I love to hear them discuss and debate the subjects that they feel passionate about, and I have no impulse to curb them, even though the atmosphere can get a bit heated sometimes. This is just what MY family does. It's how they express who they are and how they differentiate themselves from their brothers and parents.

"Popping wheelies" in the living room? That doesn't happen anymore. But, the sound of intense debating around the dinner table still goes on, and I say, LET IT CONTINUE!


Date:December 5th, 2013 05:07 am (UTC)
There's this one picture on his Nov 8th post that does something to me. It's the 3rd picture down in that post. I think it's the greenery, the joy on his son's face, the house in the background, the lush garden….I just want to jump in that picture! What a life.

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Date:December 5th, 2013 11:14 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I know what you mean.
Did you see the picture with both boys lying on top of their cow?
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