Our daughter is preparing to compete in a few horse shows again this summer. She is involved in a lot of activities …. not to mention her social calendar…. and as a result we find that sometimes her ‘training for a show’ looks a little more like ‘cramming for a show’ with a bit of riding through the fields and playing around with her horse thrown in between going to the movies, hanging out with friends, school and sports.
Today, as we were getting ready to go for a ride together, many things got in the way. Distracted texting with her friends to arrange their next get together, lost boots that our puppy had relocated to another spot in the yard, a garden that I couldn’t pass without pulling a few weeds, all put us a little behind schedule.
The ‘icing on the cake’ happened when we were saddling our horses and an enormous, man eating wasp flew into my eye and stung me! Our darling girl tells me it was a teeny little mosquito but she is so very very wrong.
Stumbling away from my horse – unable to see because of the tears, the swelling and the excruciating pain, I managed to get my husbands attention and he came running to my side to help me in my time of need….
Well, actually he stared at me from the tractor with a look on his face that said …’could you get out of the way, I’m trying to do something here…’ until he saw me trying to dig the huge man eating wasp out of my eye. Or maybe it was our daughter collapsing with fits of laughter that got his attention.
Anyways, my dramatics over nearly losing an eye to a wasp sting set us even further behind schedule. I settled down, and as soon as I could convince myself that I would probably live, we girls headed out for our ride. It was lovely to hear my daughter giggling and telling me how weird I looked with my puffy eye. It’s always nice to hear her laugh, even when it’s at my expense.
We rode past our little herd of cattle. The one cow who hadn’t yet had her calf stared at us as we approached. We have been watching her for over a week, thinking that she will calve any minute. Her belly and udder are both enormous, and she stares at us every day panting and looking so uncomfortable. I remember that feeling.
As we rode past her, I said “just let it out 49J, you will feel so much better”.
This is when we noticed that she was holding her tail a little funny…a very good indication that today will be the big day and our last calf will be born sometime in the next few hours.
We rode to the open field, and our daughter practiced for the upcoming show. Well, not really….she raced up and down hills, trying to see how fast she could make her horse run and turn….none of which have much to do with proper collection, correct leads or ‘slowing her lope’ which are the things her riding instructors have been working on with her. However she had a great time, and posted a picture of herself on Instagram which got a lot of likes…..which is equally important when you are a teenaged girl.
As we approached 49J on our ride home, we were so lucky to be there to witness the birth of our last calf of 2013. This will also be old 49J’s last calf. While we quietly watched, she gave birth to a very large, very beautiful red bull calf. We watched as she cleaned him up, quietly speaking to him and encouraging him to pick up his head and breathe. We watched while she kept licking and nudging him until he tried to stand and took his first wobbly steps. She’s a great momma.
Our kids are fortunate to be able to witness many life events from birth to death and the stuff in between through life on the farm. I really appreciate moments like this when I am alone with one child, and can take the opportunity to teach (they say lecture) about the facts of life. I’m sure my daughter really appreciated my impromptu, unsolicited, free of charge conversation about the birds and bees while we sat on our horses and watched this little baby come into the world. Well, maybe she doesn’t appreciate it now, but when she replays the scenario in her mind years from now I think she will. Or at least she will have fun texting friends about how her day went, held captive on her horse while her puffy eyed mom told her all about the birds and bees (again).
It’s all about timing. I looked at my young girl and commented on how things work out some times. We were so lucky to have had the delays we had while trying to go for our ride. If she hadn’t have been texting, if her boots hadn’t been lost, and if I hadn’t have been stung in the eye by a man eating wasp….mosquito….we would have missed being here for this blessed event today. And she would have missed out on yet another riveting ‘facts of life’ presentation from her mother.
She will be as ready as she needs to be for her horse shows, and she will find the time for all of her school, sports and social activities. We need to remember to enjoy every fleeting moment of this crazy fabulous life.
Things work out the way they should, and the timing is always perfect.
“The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.” Willie Nelson.