“Why do you even write a blog, mom? You are so busy already. I think this is a poor life choice.” ~ Austin – 17, computer guru, philosopher and life coach
Austin, my boy… perhaps you are right, but writing is therapeutic and quite frankly, you and your siblings give me some pretty good material to write about.
Lately we have been busy! Beyond busy, really. Rodeo season is wrapping up and while it will be nice to have a little more free time (which will no doubt be filled with something else to keep us busy, as there is never truly ‘free time’), I will miss the excitement of going to the rodeos every weekend and watching our beautiful daughter, Alyssa and her lovely equine partner, Lacy as they fly around the arena doing Queen run-in’s as she represents the county she calls home. In a way, it is sad seeing her Rodeo Queen year come to an end because this means she will be moving on with her life and I know she has aspirations to move to the Far East and work on a ranch. Okay, so maybe not the Far East, but Eastern Oregon, which will seem like the Far East, because I won’t get to see her everyday and that pains my heart. It is her time though, she is nearly 21 and ready to create her own life, but it is so, so hard to let go. Oh geez, here I go...tears are flowing.
Alyssa and Lacy at the Benton County Fair and Rodeo
Uh hem, get a grip, Stacey! Anyway, I am so proud of her and the young woman she has become. She is an amazing horse woman, smart, beautiful and brave enough to follow her dreams and do what makes her happy. That is what I want for my kids and I pray that her dreams will bring her happiness, prosperity and a life of love.
Pray, pray, pray. I am forever praying for my kids and I know that is what gets me though the nights of worrying and days of fretting. It is a sin to worry, but I am a darn good sinner. Thanks be to God that I am also forgiven.
Austin tells me that I am high-strung. Maybe I am, but honestly I have a lot to worry about. I have 4 kids, one trusts her life to a 1200 lb animal that has a mind of her own and while she is quite trustworthy, one accident can crush my sweet girl. It actually happened once when she was riding in the front yard, Lacy reared up flipped over and landed on Alyssa’s legs, crushing her muscles. It's stuff like this that makes me worry, though I am a worst case scenario kind of girl.
My young son is the adventurer. He works at a reptile farm and is constantly handling alligators, aggressive
caimans, snapping turtles, venomous snakes and huge constrictors. I worry. And I pray some more.
Austin and 'Big Al" who had a sleepover at our house
Austin also is in to extreme sports. He is an avid uni-cyclist, plays unicycle hockey and loves mountain uni-cycling on a big 36" wheel. He is always wanting to do crazy things, and often when he sets his mind to it, he does it. He is currently building an airplane that he will get to test when it is completed next summer. He wants to be a pilot. There are a million things he wants to be when he grows up and they are all fairly extreme. I have reasons to worry...
Austin and his pilot friend having fun in a bi-plane
Then there is our 2-year-old daughter. Lord have mercy. This one makes me sin the most. She has no fear of anything, a brain that functions at half her age and motor skills that are double her age. She runs through life on bumpy terrain at 100 miles an hour, often with scissors or some other eye gouging weapon that she has sneakily acquired from who knows where. She believes she can fly and often jumps off of high things just to prove to me she can. She can't. The gray hairs on my head that I have been battling with hair dye for the past couple of years all tell a story and most of them include Tornado Tiva. She thinks she is invincible. She's not. Yes, I can't help but worry. That's what mom’s do, right? Perhaps that makes me high strung, but I like to think it makes me a loving mom.
My oldest son, Trevor is my saving grace. He is brilliant, just got accepted into grad school for chemical engineering and his hobby is ballroom dancing. Hallelujah! I don't worry so much about his activities, but I do a little, he could break a leg dancing or be involved in a chemical explosion. Worst case scenario, remember?
Trevor, trying his hand at roping - a skill Alyssa was excited to teach him!
My kids are each unique. Even though they have different and sometimes dangerous hobbies, I wouldn't change any of them. I love watching Alyssa work her horses and it is so beautiful seeing them become partners as they learn to trust each other after months of training. She has a gift with animals and is a wonderful trainer of both horses and dogs. She is a self-taught vet tech for many animals. She truly has a heart for animals and is gifted in dealing with all of God's creatures.
I love seeing Austin try new things and occasionally bring home reptiles for us to play with. Living with him is like being in a super awesome science class with no homework. He exposes us to things we would never imagine and it's truly amazing. He is incredibly smart and a great educator with a witty sense of humor.
Tiva is wild and crazy. She takes life and makes it her bitch. (Pardon my language). Her personality is awesome, frustrating and hilarious. She teaches me a lot about life. Since she has been in my life, I have learned not to be so quick to judge. I have also learned a lot about brain function or more specifically dysfunction. Especially neurobehavioral problems related to fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. I have learned to parent in a whole new way and she has taught me patience. Lots of patience.
Trevor first taught me how to unconditionally love a child that is not my own flesh and blood. He makes me so proud with his drive and love of learning. He has shown me that I am not nearly as smart as he is, as I often don't have a clue what he is talking about. He is a genius and will be a wealthy man some day when he finds the cure for cancer and I will be overwhelmed with pride (even more so than I am now).
I love each and every one of my kids. Their plans, goals and dreams are all different from each other, but mine for them are the same: follow your heart, chase your dreams, live a happy and healthy life and above all, keep God first in all you do. As for me, I will keep praying, never ceasing. As they move ahead with life, I will always be there in the background as their biggest fan, strongest supporter and most importantly, their mom. This post was going to be about something totally different, but when I start writing, I never know what words will fill the page. Oh well. My kids are my favorite subject anyway. Until next time, friends... xo