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.
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.
© Tami Blake