I’m not even old yet, but I sure have a lot to look back on. Last week, in my weekly call to my mother, she asked me how it felt to not have the kids home for the Easter holidays.
I know her very well, she was digging at the fact that I was unable to visit her, the old “now you know how I feel”, kind of hit.
The truth is if I could have my children home for a holiday weekend as kids again, I’d jump at it, but we are all grown up and I’m happy they have wonderful and full lives. We get together often as adults and have a great time together.
I can look back and have very few regrets. I stopped and smelled the roses, pond water, horse poop and everything that crossed our paths when the kids where young. I took time to play with them every day; we laughed, sang, danced and rode.
When chatting with a fellow HJU blogger, I was reminded of one very odd night several years ago.
My son was about 8 years old. He had been given a horse as a gift about a year earlier and they were the best of friends. We boarded mine and my son’s horse about 38 miles down the mountain from our house in Colorado.
Three to four days per week, I’d drop the kids off at school and run to the barn to ride with the girls or have a lesson. Then come home, do chores, pick up the kids and run back to the barn, so my son could ride. That’s right… several days a week I put about 200 miles a day on my car. I was young and gas was cheep … ish.
It had been one of those double trip days. We had left the barn kind of late, for some reason, my son was dragging his feet about leaving -which was a usual event, he hated to leave his friend. We got home had dinner, did homework and went to bed. About 2 AM my son woke me. He had to see his horse RIGHT NOW!!! He was very upset. My husband tried to convince him to go back to bed, that everything was alright. But no, my son had to see his horse NOW!!!.
So what did we do? We got dressed and we headed down the mountain.
Being very tired, I kept talking to my son. I began asking him questions. What was going on? Did you have a bad dream? He told me he had a bad feeling. The horse was old in age, actually 28 years old, but young in heart and spirit. I began the discussion about losing the horse someday.
As a mom, how do you prepare your child to lose something they love so much? It was longest, yet shortest drive in my life. In my mind I started with the “what ifs.” What if we show up to find a dead horse. What kind of mother am I? What kind of stupid mother was I to let my child get so attached to such an old horse?
By the time we got the barn, I was in a sweat. If I had had half a brain, I’d have had my husband come along so he could find the “dead horse”. In the parking lot, I asked my son: “Are you sure you want to wake up you horse? Are you really sure you want to go in the barn?” The lump in my throat was huge and my heart flew from my ankles to the sky when I flipped on the barn light and saw my son’s horse standing there, looking at us.
Then, there was the most awful noise I had ever heard in my life. The horse in the stall next to my son’s horse had become cast and was in huge distress. He was covered in white lather and was making gasping noises. I grabed the cell phone and called the barn manager. As my son stood in the arena holding his horse, the barn people took apart the stall and the vet arrived. The horse was saved and my son was credited with his rescue.
As my son and I settled in on bales of hay in front of our stall to finish the night at the barn, he told me “I know my horse won’t be with me forever, so when I need to see him, I NEED!! To See Him”