Manifolds, Manolos, and Manure
My farmer and I went to college in Illinois. We considered a Wisconsin school, but at the time out-of-state tuition was out of the question. A decade later (yes, that hurt) my favorite cousin became a “Miner” at the University of Wisconsin at Platteville. The longer she spent in Wisconsin the more we paid attention to Wisconsin schools until we were rooting for “Big” Frank Kaminsky and the Badgers during March Madness.
Our big little boy especially is infatuated with “Bucky.” He happily tells everyone who will listen that he’s going to be “Bucky” when he’s older. He squeals with delight at the sight of “Bucky.” Ask him to teach you how to Bucky and he’ll bust into dance. This winter, my favorite cousin gave my big little boy a “Bucky” pillow pet and you would’ve thought “Bucky” was made of gold rather than fluffy stuffing. My big little boy prefers to pet “Bucky’s” tail and to give him kisses before bed.
Speaking of kisses, my blue-eyed girl snuggles and kisses her fluffy buckskin mare after each ride. I, on the other hand, catch my breath and put my heart back in my chest when she dismounts. Over the summer I watched in terror as she and two other girls flew around the hay field and onto the trails. Not only was it the fastest she had gone, but it was the first time she rode without an adult with her. It was in that moment that I learned that even though her fearlessness terrifies me, it also makes me proud.
This summer both my blue-eyed girl and my big little boy found their way to the softball field. My big little boy raced around the t-ball field with little regard as to which direction you’re technically suppose to travel. In his defense, he’s four and it was his first (and likely his last) season. I, on the other hand, as a coach, was stationed at third base happily sending all the four-year olds to home plate. My farmer filled in for me for half a game and has since refused to ever do so again.
My blue-eyed girl played her fifth season of softball. I think she found her position at third base, but we keep moving her, so she can try different sides of the field. As someone who never played third base, I was a catcher my entire softball career, it’s incredible to see how much she’s grown and how much her abilities have changed. She played two seasons and I managed to live through coaching two seasons. She tells me that she wants to try basketball in the spring instead of softball. I’m looking forward to juggling basketball, spring planting, and my role on the softball board, a role I’ve been lusting for since playing my last game in the league.
For my farmer and I we want nothing more than our blue-eyed girl and big little boy to grow-up and try new things. And (safely) test their wings. We want them to want nothing more than to milk a cow. Drive a tractor. Farm.