Roping in the rain

Yesterday we were in nearby Forsyth for a reining / cutting / team branding / muley roping competition.  Beau was entered in the team branding; the kids and I traveled in a separate vehicle to cheer him on.  Though we left a few hours behind him, the kids and I still sat and waited (in the grandstand, in the van, and/or in line at the food truck where we quickly earned preferred customer status) for five hours.  And then we saw him rope for three minutes.  And then we came home.

I love my husband and I love supporting him.  But there is no misery quite so special as taking our kids to an event in which Daddy is competing or working.  I’ve wracked up a book’s worth of sitting-in-the-bleachers misadventures since we started having kids nine years ago, but who has the time to compile a book?  Suffice it to say, taking little kids on the ranch rodeo trail means, for Mama, a whole lot of waiting and not much watching the action.  It means missing Daddy’s few shining moments in the arena because suddenly there’s a spilled pop or a bathroom emergency or somebody pukes.  It’s carrying a kid under each arm with a hot dog in each hand.  It’s visiting earnestly with somebody you haven’t seen in a long time for approximately 3.6 minutes before looking around in a panic and saying, “Did you see which way my baby went?!”  It’s sitting in the pickup on a 90-degree day with a newborn, wondering where your 7-year-old disappeared to with those-kids-you-don’t-know and praying that you see the 7-year-old again.

Or, like yesterday, it’s sitting around in the wind and rain and trying (without success) to keep everybody out of the mud puddles.

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Our biggest mistake yesterday?  Before Beau left home, I talked him into saddling and hauling a kids’ horse to the arena.  What was I thinking… ONE HORSE FOR FOUR KIDS?!  For five hours they fought over whose turn it was to ride the horse.  Actually, the bigger kids — who can actually ride by themselves — were logical about the sharing of the horse.  But the hard-headed 2-year-old was either in the saddle (I was leading the horse, of course; I just love hanging out in the “horses only” area behind an arena, on foot, chauffeuring my 2-year-old around) OR he was whining because he wasn’t in the saddle.  By the end of the day I was about ready to buckle him into the back of a stranger’s vehicle — and I would’ve done so hoping they wouldn’t realize they had him until they were a long ways down the road!

All that said, yesterday’s event was really well done and a good thing for the ranch community.  But I do feel certain I will enjoy such events so much more in about eight years… when our youngest is 10 years old.

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© Tami Blake

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