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Monday, August 17, 2009

I thought I knew it all.

Before I had kids I was full of all sorts of things. Mostly opinions. I thought I had it all figured out. I knew what type of mom I would be, how I would discipline my kids, and that I would never, under any circumstances, have any of those kids. Wanna guess how many of those I had correct?

Fast forward a dozen years. All the answers I thought I had? Turns out I didn't.
Yeah. I fell pretty hard off that giant pedestal I built for myself. I might have hit my head on the way down.

These days I pretty much fly by the seat of my pants and pray that I don't muck up to the point that they all wind up in therapy by the ripe old age of 14.

* * *
Since Rachel was old enough to talk she's been obsessed with horses. I diverted her attention by signing her up for every sport known to mankind. And at the conclusion of every season she asked about the horses. I tried everything I could think of but over time she wore me down. But even after I gave in and let her start riding? I still tried to talk her out of it every chance I got.


I got to take her to compete in a horse show this weekend. My heart nearly broke with pride as I watched her do something for which she clearly has such passion. The fact that she managed to get to this point in spite of the fact that I actively discouraged her humbled me.


I'm still flying by the seat of my pants, but every once in awhile I have days like yesterday. Days when I catch a glimpse of their passion. Days when I can see the fire in their spirit. Days when I catch a fleeting glimpse of the person they might become.

And I feel like I'm doing okay.

In spite of myself.

56 comments:

Ryan Ashley Scott said...

This post gave me chills. Seeing our kids grow and come into their own is just so thrilling. Chalk up another point for the "therapy-free" path. ;)

Lindy said...

I may just be an emotional wreck...this is a distinct possibility - however this post, had me crying.

I am so deathly afraid that I am thwarting my daughters spirit by bringing in my stepdaughter to live with us that every chance I get, I look deep into those eyes of hers to make sure she's still there.

Gibby said...

Aww, how awesome! I sort of had a moment like this the other day, when I realized my daughter is NOT me and is much DIFFERENT and I shouldn't let her be any other person than herself.

Good for Rachel. She looks great!! Good job, KB!

LadyFi said...

Lovely post! I have a feeling that you are all doing OK!

Nana said...

I think you just might be doing o.k. If not I will give you the number to my children's shrink.

Tammy Howard said...

What beautiful pictures! It is sort of amazing when we watch them become their own people (and when we are forced to realize that those people are not us).

Very cool.

Grant said...

Is there a reason why you wanted to discourage the horse interest?

Maybe you need to apply a little reverse psychology. Tell her she can have all the horses she can eat, but she'll be in big trouble if you find out she's gotten into your broccoli.

ymK said...

Awesome pictures. I'm glad Rachel got to this point and she wouldn't have if you were not doing an okay job.

Nancy@ifevolutionworks.com said...

You know you've done a great job when your children have "passion" and "persistance". She pushed to follow her interests and is succeeding in them.

To me that means you're doing an awesome job!

Lisa @ Boondock Ramblings said...

Honey, we are all flying by the seat of our pants as mothers. Aren't we? Wait. AREN'T WE?! Aw, crap. You and I might be alone!

Regardless...you are doing an awesome job. I can tell by just this blog. And those photos.

Wow. Brave and bright girl. I can see it in the jumps and the expressions.

I always loved horses. I always wanted to do this. Could never get the courage up. I'm glad she did.

TheKitchenWitch said...

I was a "horse girl" too! Rachel looks great!

Kristina P. said...

You are an awesome mom.

Kristina P. said...

You are an awesome mom.

Pam said...

When you are passionate about something your persistance usually pays off. Good for her!

~Laura said...

Wow! She looks like an amazing and brave little girl. Any time you can say that, you have to know you're doing a great job!

Megryansmom said...

Pat yourself on the back, you're doing a fine job!

Laoch of Chicago said...

What a nice achievement for your daughter. I am sure that this is just the start of a lifetime of fine accomplishments.

ps - I am sure that you are a good mom

Danielle said...

You humble me. I do exactly what I said I wouldn't do as a mother and also just hope that I do well enough that she doewn't need therapy. (Like her mommy) :)

Stephanie Faris said...

I'm not a mother (just a probable future stepmother) but my observation is that mommyhood is the single most rewarding, yet FRUSTRATING thing we'll ever do! It's all worth it in the end...but if it makes you feel better, one day they'll be parents and realize everything you went through and appreciate you more than ever. I did learn that just having my boyfriend's daughter every other weekend. My mom was a saint!

Grand Pooba said...

Ok, posts like this make me want to have babies. Crap.

blueviolet said...

WOW! She and the horse are beauty in motion.

I'm glad you gave in. :)


PS. How do you make a watermark?

Susie said...

We all think we know what we are doing and then the kids step in and change the whole story.

She looks great, Mom:-) You should be proud!

confused homemaker said...

I am wondering what my kids passions will be, hopefully I will be smart enough to see them & help them with them.

She looks great out there too, you should be very proud.

Hit 40 said...

How wonderful that she is enjoying horses!! Great work. My oldest wanted to ride horses. I never checked into it for him :-( He has his music and swim team. Hard to find time for everything. He only brought it up one summer.

Jen said...

that is really, really cool. how awesome that she found her passion.

for a different kind of girl said...

This made me teary-eyed, too. Look how strong and beautiful she is in the jump photo! That is amazing. That is poise, and grace and confidence right there. Can you imagine what it must be like to find such a passion in life at her age?

Zeemaid said...

First: she looked absolutely amazing in those photos and I can see why you're so proud of her and not just cause she's your kid. :)

Second: I probably would have done the same thing (discourage) because so often with kids it's hard to distinguish what's a real passion vs the passing interest AND horses and all it entails are expensive.

I still think you can pat yourself on the back for letting her try after all and recognizing her passion.. it's never too late for us to learn too. ;)

JennyMac said...

I love this and it reminded me of me and my mom. I got a little welled up at the end.

peewee said...

Awwww. My mom never let me take riding lessons no matter HOW much I begged. It was more of a money issue back then. That, or she KNEW how I would harass her for my own horse once I got a taste of it.
SHe also never let me audition for commercials for which I am CLEARLY talented.
My passions were Stifled! Stifled I tell you!

So, good job!!! You just saved your little girl YEARS of therapy! :)

The Blonde Duck said...

How wonderful! I always wanted to take riding lessons!

faemom said...

Rachel looks great! And she has her mother's stubborness.
Of course, I get where you're coming from because it's only a matter of time before she starts asking about a horse of her own.

Helene said...

Wow!! I can see how that would take your breath away to see her doing that she has such a passion for. I can imagine it's hard to let them go and try the things they want to try when you just want to hold them close and keep them safe.

She looks wonderful on that horse!!! You are definitely doing something right!!

Kristen said...

aww this was such a beautiful post and these pictures are beautiful! I know it must be hard knowing she has expensive passions but at least she is doing what she loves :)

K said...

Such a beautiful post (and lovely pictures).

Suzy said...

You did what my parents did. I had no passion or interest in playing music. They bought a piano, which I SUCKED AT. I did not suck at comedy and yet they didn't support that. I did love horses and I did get horseback riding lessons.

Always believe what your children tell you, especially when it's repetitive.

"Find out what you're passionate about and then figure out a way to get paid for it."

That is a quote from Kathie Lee Gifford's dad, and she did what he advised.

passions and soapboxes said...

We all fly by the seat of our pants. Academia does not really prepare us for life or being a parent. We all fear we will fail miserably and yet somehow they survive and become who they should be. So we do the best we can and that will have to be enough.

Riding horses, she looks like she loves it.

Riddle Girl said...

This one gave me chills. So happy you got to have such a great "shared" moment with your daughter. (Even if she may not have been aware of it happening!) This blog can be a great memory for her later in life!
From the pics she looks like she does VERY well.

Wifey said...

How beautiful - the pictures and the post. Don't be so hard on yourself, I think we all go through that - in one way or another. She's shining, mom! You've done good.

Winks & Smiles,
Wifey

Michelle said...

Oh you are fabulous!

I am very proud of you! I was a horse girl. In fact I got my horse Eli when I was 10 and I still have him today.

He is my boy and I love him lots...

the ungourmet said...

What a wonderful post. You are such a terrific mom! Your daughter looks like a natural up there!

My daughter has wanted to ride for years also. We go every chance we get. I wish I could do this for her. Maybe one day...

WhisperingWriter said...

This is fantastic.

She looks so at ease on that horse. My Mom loves horses and is hoping one of my kids take up riding.

thatgirlblogs said...

beautiful, brave girl... the both of you ;)

ScoMan said...

She's done well to wear you down, she's obviously very passionate about it.

The only thing I was passionate about at her age was how to get out of sports and other activities, not how to sign up for different ones.

Justin Narin said...

That was so sweet :) we are all afraid that our kids might get hurt or they might make the wrong choice, but when they succeed it just makes us fly over the clouds. You are a great mom.


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♥ Braja said...

Yeah, you can't "divert" that kinda perfection.... :)

Hit 40 said...

You were so sweet to stop by on a non posting day!!! I finally downloaded firefox. What a difference!!! I bookmarked you :-)

ck said...

Congratulations on such an inspiring and determined daughter.

You done well, kbexclamationpoint. Very well.

Kim said...

I've always said there are 2 kinds of girls in this world: those who love horses, and the rest of us. My sister was a horse lover from early on. My daughter's friend is a horse lover, although my daughter is not. You are right about it being a passion. Your pictures are marvelous BTW.

countryfriedmama said...

She looks so confident on that horse. What a great moment for both of you.

Stacy (the Random Cool Chick) said...

Ohhhhh Kathy! The post itself coupled with the pictures gave me goosebumps and tears...the good kind! :) Princess Nagger is passionate about horses, too - she's trying to wear her Dada down about them since he's deathly afraid of them. She'll have her horse moments for sure, because I'm going to see to that, and hopefully hubby will come 'round, too. ;)

All we can do is fly by the seat of our pants - and enjoy those days like you had Sunday, when you catch a glimpse of their passion and see the fire in their spirit...and yes, you're doing better than OK. :)

Sandy said...

Awesome post! Congratulations to both of you for a job well done.

Parenthood For Me said...

You must be so proud. I have the philosphy that I have no control over what my child becomes interested in. But I also hope he never likes hockey!

LazyCrazyMama said...

How awesome is that?!?!!!
I am so with you on the part about how you imagined your parenting/kids would be. It's never quite like you imagine is it?

CynthiaK said...

Good stuff. Really good stuff.

And, I'm sure none of those girls will ever need therapy unless it's massage.

Rock 'n' roll, sistah. You're a great mom.

forever folding laundry said...

Fantastic! She looks amazing!

And you're doing great. :)

~Keri

Zip n Tizzy said...

She truly looks as though she were born to do this!