Manifolds, Manolos, and Manure
Eleven years ago, on one hot Father’s Day, our blue-eyed girl quietly entered the world. Anyone who has met her will tell you that 11 years ago was literally the last time she did anything quietly. In the last year, our blue-eyed girl has grown tremendously. As a young lady. As an agriculturalist. As a student. And as an equine enthusiast.
Earlier this year, our big little boy talked his dad into a pet rabbit. With his sister in tow they picked the tiniest, fluffiest, and friendliest bunny they could find. Together they check on, feed, water, and dote on “Corona Bunny.” There was a time in the recent past that our blue-eyed girl would not have helped her younger brother and instead would have taken over Corona Bunny’s care.
She’s grown as an agriculturalist. Earlier this year she spent a week delivering calves. Fifty calves. In a week. She was up at dawn checking cows. And in the shower by the evening news washing off the new calf smell. Ironically, if school hadn’t been remote, we may not have let her skip an entire week and she would’ve missed the chance to welcome 50 calves and 50 new moms. And we would have missed her growth.
This spring our blue-eyed girl’s fascination with all things fuzzy continued. She selected a gorgeous granddaughter of KHW Regiment Apple-Red-ET as her show calf. Red Carpet Jordy Applecrisp-Red-ET or “Apple Crisp” was chosen for her rambunctious and fearless personality rather than her pedigree. My blue-eyed girl named her “Apple Crisp” after her grandma and for her dad and great grandpa who love apple crisp. I wanted her to start showing with a decent looking calf so as she got older and could afford better pedigreed animals she would appreciate them more but I lost that battle to my youngest brother-in-law and my blue-eyed girl who claimed the prettiest red and white calf born in March on the farm. Of course, she had to be one of “Apple’s” granddaughters. The same “Apple” who commanded a $1 million price tag when she sold in 2008.
She’s grown as a student. Despite her mom stepping in as her teacher for her final five weeks of fifth grade, she’s an excellent student. Under Señor Carbajal, her Spanish and confidence has blossomed. With Mrs. Rosales, she’s reading The Hunger Games series, Maximum Ride series, Tales of a New World series, and the Percy Jackson series. There was a time that I could read ahead of her and that time is no more. Her biggest complaint about this year was that she didn’t get an A+ in STEM, just an A. Somehow, she got an A+ in physical education despite not being able to ride a bike.
She’s changed as an equine enthusiast. Eighteen months ago, I brought a big red beast also known as an American Quarter Horse. He’s a defunct hunter/jumper who gets hot and bothered at the sight of ground poles. Through a of training, patience, and a willingness to dump money into barrel races knowing perfectly well that he wasn’t going to place he’s finally coming around. Last year, my blue-eyed girl ran in three races. Not perfect patterns. Not necessarily fast. But clean, safe, and without incident. This year, they’ve ran in one race. Not perfect. Not clean. But she handled him turning too soon. She completed the pattern. And finished. She finished and went back to training to try again.
Farm kids are resilient. They’re tough.
As parents we want nothing more than our blue-eyed girl to want to milk the cows. Drive the tractors. Farm. Just like her dad, grandfather, and great grandfather before her.