Manifolds, Manolos, and Manure
Twelve years ago, our blue-eyed girl quietly entered the world. For years we’ve joked that it was the last time she was quiet. But then she discovered books. And we rediscovered the joys of silence.
Our blue-eyed girl is an avid and prolific reader. She still reads Harry Potter, Hunger Games, and Percy Jackson on occasion. However, she now gets lost in the Keeper of Lost Cities, Magnus Chase, The 100, Valkyrie, The Trials of Apollo, and Tales of a New World. Needless to say, we are strong supporters of the public library system.
When she’s not reading, our blue-eyed girl is with her animals. Our new-to-us farmhouse boasts three dogs. Too many barn cats. Eleven dairy heifers. Three show calves. And two horses. Mornings are marked with chores. Afternoons are marked by chores. Evenings are marked by night checks.
Our fair kicks off in mid-August so our blue-eyed girl’s afternoons are marked by leading her show calves. Through the yard. Around the horse pasture. Down the road. And repeat. ‘Apple Crisp,’ ‘Poppy,’ and ‘Velociraptor’ will make their appearance in the 4H, junior, and open shows in just under a month. Before even stepping foot on the trailer to leave for fair, the animals and 4H members spend countless hours leading. Standing calmly. Being scrubbed. And clipped.
Both horses will also venture to their first 4H fair. Both have barrel raced. Both have performed in rodeos. Both will have ropes thrown off of them later this summer. But neither have swished their tails at a 4H show. Our county features pleasure classes on Tuesday and speed classes on Wednesday. Our big red American Quarter Horse will make his debut in a western horsemanship class. With our blue-eyed girl in tow he’ll walk, trot, and lope. Our more compact American Paint Horse will make his debut at the speed show. More specifically in a pole bending class. Together they’ll weave between six poles, turn weave again, turn, and return to the finish line.
Our fair is exactly a week before both our blue-eyed girl and big little boy return to school. Earlier this year we transitioned to a new school district. We transitioned from exclusively virtual learning to in-person learning. Like her little brother, our blue-eyed girl celebrated the return to in-person learning. Relished in her reading class. Giggled with Ms. Firkins about her father. And worked her tail off in math. This school year in lieu of study hall, our blue-eyed girl will instead explore civics and introduction to agriculture. As agricultural enthusiasts ourselves, we’re pretty excited about both class selections.
As parents, we want nothing more than blue-eyed girl to want to milk the cows. Drive the tractors. Farm. Just like her dad, grandfather, and great grandfather before her.