Friday, April 30, 2010

It must be the mud

(Photos by the girls' friend Katie. Thanks, Katie, for the evidence.)

The horses come in from the paddocks each evening.

They rub their crusty, muddy selves all over the barn.
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They further shed mud on the girls.
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The girls help the process along with curry combs and, on warm afternoons, with water hoses and sometimes with my kitchen towels. (Hah. They thought I didn't notice?
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Then my daughters bring the mud in to my laundry room. It's not an intentional transfer of property, but it seems to me that they're moving an awful lot of soil. Possibly they could find a way to put that directly on the garden on their way back to the house?
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The next morning the horses go back out and roll themselves in mud like it's a spa treatment. They graze in the sun, moving along with it all day until the mud bath is cracked and caked like a facial.
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As the sun gets low in the sky and the maple trees cast long shadows, the girls call the horses in.
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They cluck over their charges and mildly chastise Dolly and Two Spot for their errant mud-seeking ways. As spring blooms, my girls inhale the essence, the best parts of my childhood: warm horses, hay-seed-dusted barn floor, saddle soap. It's odd how comforting those scents are to me today, even in the face of the laundry pile. Maybe especially in the face of the laundry pile.
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So the girls transfer the dirt from their horses and I transfer my girlhood joys to my daughters.
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Lather, rinse, repeat.
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Last night I was visiting with a mom from our community. She and her husband are raising three boys and a tiny daughter. Her days, she said, are full of footballs and wrestling gear. Calls to insurance agencies over sports injuries. Carpools for three sons in three sports apiece. (Her daughter, still a preschooler, has yet to assert any extracurricular interests.)
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I wonder whether our fifth child is a boy or a girl. I wonder whether this baby will love horses. Or books. Or ATVs or firefighting or something equally foreign to me. I wonder how this child will change our family in ways I can't imagine now. And I wonder what little parts of my childhood, and my husband's, we'll relive with this new life.
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(Before you decide I've lost myself with the pregnancy-mush-brain-sentimentality: I know it probably all involves mud. And laundry.)


1 comment:

Barb said...

Oh, I can't wait to know!! Plus, mud is fun --you know, mostly. It took me a long time to realize that if you bathe enough, it ALL washes off. I used to try to limit the damage but now, if we're in for one grain we're in for the whole bath.