October 6, 2011

For Charlie and Janie

I’ve been naughty and kept you all from seeing the beautiful pictures of our family horseback riding, which we arranged in celebration of Mabel’s birthday. Sorry about that.

Actually it’s a good time to be honest with everyone reading the blog… my Weddennessday and Things I Love Thursday features are sort of jacking up my creativity these days. I have more that I want to share and then I look at the day on the calendar and realize well, crap, I need to post all that feature today instead. I LOVE my features, but I’m still trying to figure out how to balance all that I have to say as well. And we all know I need to talk. A lot. So what happens is that things like birthday pictures are not shared for weeks. That makes me sad. And now that Nana finally got herself a fancy new laptop, it will be making her sad as well. All of this to say… I’m working on it, Peeps. There will not be a Things I Love Thursday post today.

People, I truly cannot tell you what it meant for us to be able to give this gift to Mabel on her day. The girl has been obsessed with horses for years now, so it seemed like a perfect fit when we fell in love with Aunt Shelly and Uncle Shannon (he’s one of The Boys, you know). They have two horses – Janie and Charlie. Janie and Charlie are stabled at an indoor arena, so no matter the weather, Mabel would ride. We were thrilled… THRILLED in the days leading up to our visit. It was palpable.



The thing about Mabel – maybe one of the best things about Mabel – is that she has no fear. It’s not the hottest attribute when you take her to the swimming pool, but in most other circumstances in life, the girl just nails it. No fear. [This is also why the scary ghostes at night pissed me off to no end; I was so worried that it would threaten who she was as an individual… good news is, that looks like it is almost completely behind her.]  People, this trait of hers is right out there. I am proud of her and proud that she has learned from watching mommy that when scary things happen, you just pray… and then give it the gusto. I had no idea what she would pick up on as an infant during all the of shit I went through in my divorce… as it turns out, she learned one of the very best things there was to learn. She watched me and just became… fearless.


This photo stops my heart, it's so perfect...


There was not one moment of fear for that little girl.


Just joy.

She was so fearless that she took one look at Janie and Charlie and decided she must ride Charlie first. And all by herself.




Charlie is more than 12” taller than Janie. He is younger, more stout, and more stubborn. He is not the first horse Shelly would have put her on, but given her determination, up she went.



I'm certain that Mabel will never forget Charlie. Oh my, no. We'll be back.






Hayley was nervous. In fact, Hayley is nervous about everything new. Food, experiences, and horseback riding was right up there. Exciting, but scary. In this respect, Mothering Hayley is different for me; it stretches me. I give her a moment of compassion and reassurance, and then I tell her to suck it up and give it the gusto. 



She relaxed when Moo asked her to ride Charlie, too.



 
The boys had an equally good time.






But the boys counted the moments in the arena, really wanting to just get the horse riding over with so they could get to the range. You see, Aunt Shelly’s stables are on private property, nestled in the plains with lovely foothills and a babbling brook. Beyond that, down a very long and hairy path cut through the brush (and far, far away from the horses), Uncle Shannon had set up a shooting range. BB guns were broken in, let me just say. I didn’t capture any pictures because I was on a horse; sorry! Now, had Trevor and Andy not been there and it been a ‘big boy’ gathering, as it were, there would have been a freaking artillery showdown out there (The Boys hunt and have shot together for decades), far beyond the lame pop of a BB gun. Trevor and Andy both walked away bragging about their expert shooting ability and they both had all of their eyes and fingers. So I call it a success!

But I was there for the horses myself.


 
While the boys were shooting, the little girls (our two plus Shelly and Shannon’s one) played in the dirt. The found frogs and a green garden snake. They hopped and bopped and played on the hay. Shelly used this time to teach me how to ride. As in, steer the horse. Drive the thing. IT WAS EXHILIARATING. Yes my butt bones hurt for days, but it was so worth it. And easy! Powerful.




We loved it!



Thank you Aunt Shelly, Uncle Shannon and Addison, too!

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