Recently I wrote, in Back in the Saddle Again, about how the PV crew generally moves too fast for moms and little kids to tag along. I think that’s one of the big differences between a family ranch and a corporate ranch: here at the corporate ranch, Mom isn’t vital to accomplishing ranch tasks on any given day. There are, after all, professionals hired to handle just about any ranch emergency that might arise. This is in stark contrast to many of the family outfits I hear about, where Mom isn’t just a mom but also Dad’s hired man.
Here at the PV, though, I’m just a mom. A mom who cooks, yes. But not a mom who is essential to getting all the calves branded or weaned or worked or trailed on any given day.
Now, my kids won’t always be so tiny. This is just a season in my life. And when a new season dawns, you can bet I’ll be writing a new chapter in PV history. When the littlest one is just big enough, I’ll have us all horseback, and then I will be in charge of my own little crew, and I will be their wrangler, and I just may show up with them on any given day and coordinate their efforts toward “helping” while mostly just trying to keep us all out of the way until they’re big enough to truly understand.
But for now… diapers and wipes and sippy cups keep us aground.
But you know what? Sometimes it doesn’t hurt to remind a mama-in-the-trenches that she used to be capable of more than mothering and cooking… which leads me to the story of how Beau surprised me on Saturday.
It was my third day in a row of hauling hot lunches out to remote branding traps to feed a 14-member crew, plus whatever friends and kids I was dragging along with me for entertainment for the day. On Saturday I packed enchilada casserole and all the fixings in coolers and left the house for the branding at 9 a.m.
I knew the crew was operating shorthanded — one guy gone to a horse sale, a couple others helping a neighbor. I dreamed that maybe I’d show up and somebody would beg me to climb into the branding pen and lend my expertise.
And you know what? When I showed up, Beau…
… asked me…
if I would like to rope a few calves!
So he put his saddle on Asher’s horse (it was a short gather, so Asher had had the chance to ride along with his dad), and Forrest lent me a pair of spurs, and I dragged a few calves while the food sat tidy and warm in the coolers in the back of the pickup and my mom wrangled the kids.
My thoughts on roping:
Beau dallies a long rope on mule hide.
Let’s just say that at this stage in my life I should officially be classified as a short-rope ‘n’ rubber kind of gal.
But still, I got a few to the fire. And I still have all my fingers. And Rachel, Forrest’s wife and a local vet, took a picture:
Proof that Mama’s still got it (well, kind of). Proof that everyeveryonceinawhile the cowboys can scoooooch on over and make room for a housebound wife. Proof that my husband loves me and listens to me.
And proof that he reads my blog.
© Tami Blake