Well, friends, here I am…online again, finally…well, actually, I’ve been online a lot, just not blogging for the past ten days, ha, ha. Life has been testing me, and I’ve had to deny certain things to get through. A week ago today, my kitty kat, Moo Moo (14 years old) passed away. It was a sudden illness, and while he was indeed an older cat, he hadn’t shown any signs of being sick. As I sit in my office now, typing, it’s hard to believe he’s not snoring behind me, resting in his little cow-print bed.
Without more than a day to process Moo Moo’s passing and my newly accrued vet bill stress, I had to shake off the blues quickly and put on my “happy stance” as I prepared for Maycee’s last week of school. Wednesday was the school talent show, and my little one, who used to stand straight-legged and refuse to do hand motions during school sing-songs, barely moving her lips, was performing in two dances! Her second-grade class did a cool dance to “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes” sung in rap version. Then, her after school dance teacher hand-picked a group of kids to perform the finale, one of which was my Maycee! I took time off work to attend, and what a show it was. Her dance teacher told me afterwards that Maycee was his “most-improved” dancer! As I videotaped each act and took pictures of Maycee and the crew, I found myself thinking…”When I grow up, I wanna be like Maycee.”
Thursday was the school’s awards ceremony. I had inquired with Maycee’s teacher, Ms. C, as to if she would be receiving anything for this past quarter, and she told me that she was only giving out awards to the remaining few students who hadn’t received one prior, which Maycee had. I was fine with that, as work has been super busy, and I was already taking time off for Maycee’s last day of school. However, around 3:00PM, my cell phone was jinglinging, and it was my little one calling in excitement to inform me that she had been given the Accelerated Reading (AR) Award by the librarian along with a certificate for five free books from the school library. Ms. C had no idea Maycee was getting this award, so she had Maycee call me directly to share the news since she knew I’d be sad I missed seeing her get it. Way to go, kiddo! Wow! “When I grow up, I wanna be like Maycee.”
For Maycee’s last day of school on Friday, I took a half day off so I could pick her up, thank her teacher and after-care counselors, and also enjoy the afternoon by taking her for a long-0verdue horse riding lesson. Her first horse show was going to be Sunday (yesterday), and she needed some saddle time! Without knowing our instructor’s plan, K had Maycee lead the horse out into the arena with no lead line. As she mounted and began to walk him around, I realized that not even K had the lead line. Where was it? Hmmmm…this was new….and then, she had Maycee walk in a circle and move into a trot! There she was…my little 8-year-old trotting for the first time and steering the horse with no help whatsoever! If she had any fear we couldn’t tell…She looked so professional, wearing her show pants and new boots and doin’ the deal, all by herself. To end the lesson she led the horse out of the arena alone…another first, and I met her to take him to the barn. My heart was thumping…”When I grow up, I wanna be like Maycee.”
Saturday we spent five hours grooming horses, riding horses, and washing horses for the show on Sunday. We had to be at the show stables by 7:15 AM. It was THRILLING! I was deemed the official “Show Mom” by K and the girls, and I was ecstatic to help. Maycee was dressed and ready to go by 6:30, and out the door we went. It ended up being a long morning with lots of waiting, but we were learning with each minute that passed. Attending a horse show is not easy-there is so much to do once you get the trailer settled and horses unloaded. More grooming, the girls’ hair done, make-up on, warm-up rides, and then the final moment when rider and horse enter the arena. Maycee was doing the lead-line classes for 8 and under; she was the last class to ride.
After our three other youth riders received first and second places, we were just praying Maycee would achieve the same (she only had one other girl to ride against, luckily)…and SHE DID! Two First Place ribbons for the little girl with “terrific posture and pointed toes” according to the judge-not to mention the beautiful and stately show horse she got to ride. Now, it didn’t bother Maycee one bit that she tied with the other rider. She loves a fair game, and both little girls were adorable and showed well. However, those prized blue ribbons sent sunshine smiles lighting up the entire clear sky and everyone’s hearts. I asked her as we were leaving, “Now, was it worth the wait?” She replied emphatically, “YES!” She’s already eager to walk/trot on her own in the next show. She knows she will be able to do it!
When I grow up, I wanna be like Maycee. I didn’t have even a third of the confidence and bravery she has when I was her age-mine came much later (but it DID come). By her spirit and enthusiasm, her eagerness to try new things, her belief that anything is possible, and her infectious personality and big heart I am challenged to set aside any apprehension that this life is amazing, trials included. It’s not about being at the top or winning blue ribbons, although I’m so proud of her for doing just that this past week, but to quote her exact words to me tonight as she crawled under her polka-dotted bedcovers with heavy eyes, “It’s about having fun and doing the best I can, and learning new things.” You got it, girl!
I’ve missed my blog, and I’ve missed you, Readers…but it was worth the wait to be able to share these stories. Now, remember: life is short, so be happy and give a chuckle (or a neeeeeeeigh)!