Thursday, February 14, 2013

Sarah and Daisy

Sarah took horseback riding lessons this fall, where she met and fell in love with Daisy. During the fall, she would come home with stories about how Daisy did this or that, how she followed Sarah's directions, how Sarah cared for her, how Daisy gummed her food (because she's very old and has no teeth). She's drawn pictures and books about her and will tell anyone who cares to know (or doesn't) that her favorite-colored horse is a dappled gray (or whatever Daisy is . . . I fall into the latter category mentioned above . . .)

Her love for Daisy, and horses in general, has become a very large part of Sarah's life, both real and imagined. We've given her room a "big girl" makeover, with horses front and center. She wears her cowgirl boots every chance she can, and she'll take lessons again this spring. She wants to go to NCSU so that she can become a "large animal veterinarian" specializing in "only horses".

While I can only take so much of her horse talk before getting snippy, ("Enough already, child!") I know without a doubt that Daisy (and the rest of the horses) have helped Sarah tremendously. She has found something that excites and inspires her, and it is a joy to witness.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A Funeral for Toady

Our toad died. I had noticed that he wasn't eating much, but I thought that maybe he was starting to hibernate or something. A few days later, I looked again, and he was gone. I didn't think much of it, other than the original feelings of guilt for bringing him home and keeping him. I expected some sadness from the kids, but I didn't anticipate how much they would feel. Eric is sentimental and gets choked up over things all the time, so I anticipated that, but Sarah rarely cries unless she's hurt, guilty, or angry. 

When I told them, Sarah started bawling and asking why, and then got to work, covering his aquarium with paper and putting Xs and Os on a tic-tac-toe game. When I asked why, she said, "I want him to know that I love him." (I understood the Xs and Os, but wasn't clear on why she put them on the game . . . she was crying a lot, so I didn't push it.) 

Eric cried, said that he loved and missed Toady, and asked when we could get a new one. I told him that we had a dog and no longer needed a toad. "It's not the same, Mommy!" he responded. I tried very hard not to smile. 

When they were ready, we took him outside and buried him behind the treehouse. Eric put a stick in the dirt pile to honor Toady, while Sarah chose to watch from the treehouse. We each said something nice about him and then went inside. 
Me: "I liked watching him eat crickets." 
Sarah: "I liked petting him and talking to him." 
Eric: "I loved him." 
Sarah: "Me too."

This all happened on Sarah's birthday party day, which was a wonderful thing, because we were all distracted by preparations, and once the funeral was over, the sadness was gone. Every once in a while, Eric still asks about getting another one, and I remind him that we have a dog.