Saturday, May 25, 2013

.Never Too Old.

There's nothing I'd rather do than spend an afternoon in the dirt with my mom. I can watch her work a horse for hours. I soak it in when she takes the time to watch me work one, pointing out where I could use more finesse, more patience. When I was younger, it used to drive me crazy because I thought she was nagging, but now I wish I had paid more attention...how much better a horsewoman would I be if I had? We're such different minds. She has such energy and presence, I am timid and soft. She has patience. It's no secret that I have none. But she can teach me, if anyone can.

She knows my strengths and my weaknesses like no one else, she knows how to guide me to compensate for them. She makes me laugh when I'm so frustrated I'm about to cry. She does her best to tread lightly and let me figure things out in my own time, but she doesn't let me forget that I am tough enough, strong enough, smart enough. She doesn't push or force, and she doesn't hold me back when I'm ready to try something new. She handles me like she does her colts, her outlaws...she sets me up to succeed, but she expects me to try.

 "My mother is the bones of my spine, keeping me straight and true." I don't remember who wrote this, but it's from some book I read somewhere. And it's the most accurate statement I can make about my mom. She is my backbone, never letting me forget that I am capable and intelligent even when I don't feel very much like it.

I used to think there'd come a time when I wouldn't need her or when I'd be old enough to stop being told. Now I don't ever want that time to come, because that woman is so full of things to know and I want to know everything that she knows. I want to be as able as she is. I want to be half the woman she is (I can hear her making a smartass comment about pant size right now).

I will never, ever be too old to stop learning from my mother.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

.Fluorescent Pink.

I have accepted the fact that no matter how much time I spend painting my nails, at least one of them will end up chipped or smeared.

I have accepted the fact that, when I'm nervous (and sometimes when I'm not) I babble about the most random and useless things.

I have accepted the fact that I worry too much about things I have no control over.

I have accepted the fact that I will never, ever, ever, ever be a cheerful morning person.

I have accepted the fact that I have a crooked smile and a goofy laugh.

I have accepted the fact that Aviator sunglasses do not do me any favors.

I have accepted the fact that my nose is funny shaped because it has been smashed a couple of times.

I have accepted the fact that my hair will never be either pin-straight or smoothly curled, and will most likely always look like a range horse's tail despite my best efforts to wrestle it into submission, and that a few of the hairs are now silver instead of dark.

I have accepted the fact that I will never be a size 2 or have a flat stomach.

Most of all, I have accepted the fact that none of this matters in the slightest. In fact, I am almost certainly the only person who notices any of it, because the thing about mirrors is that they only reflect what we choose to see about ourselves...and that is almost always something completely different than what others see. Every time I look in a mirror and start picking myself apart, I have to take a deep breath and a step back and remind myself of the things that really matter, like how my eyes are green like my mom's and my body is stout and healthy like my grandma's; like how my lips have never been afraid to wear bright pink lipstick and how my legs are long and made to wrap around the middle of a horse. My scars and bruises and funny nose are a picture book of stories of my adventures. If I sleep in until 9 a.m. when I have nothing more pressing to tend to, the world won't stop turning...and if, when I do get up, it's on the wrong side of the bed, that's okay too because sometimes you just have to be grumpy for a while. And no matter how crooked my smile or loud my laugh, they are beautiful just because of what they represent -- a happy, blessed girl.

The older I get, the more secure I am in the knowledge that I would not trade a single day of my life of fishing trips, tan lines, cold beers, rope burns, horse wrecks, pizza slices, Dr. Peppers, bad hair days, late nights, shots of whiskey, long flights, desert drives, knock-down-drag-outs, first kisses, slow dances, bonfires, girl talks, hard work, fluffy pillows, ugly cries, good dogs, flat tires, and countless memories for even a minute of "perfection."

Because if everything was perfect, what a mundane, boring, colorless life that would be.