Fire & Rain – The Remix

April 20, 2013 at 7:25 am | Posted in Kids, Parenting | 3 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Those of you who know me know that I love music. When I had children, I vowed not to get sucked into today’s tween rock and kiddie music. No Justin Roberts & The Not Ready for Naptime Players or Naked Brothers Brand for me and my kids. And certainly no Teletubbies! They would listen to some of my favorites – mostly gentle folk and acoustic rock music from the 1970s up to today. And this has gone over pretty well so far.

But after last night, I’m not so sure.

On the way home from a busy evening of karate, dinner with friends and an early-in-the-season ice cream cone from Ben & Jerry’s, my two little darlings decided to dissect James Taylor’s Fire & Rain on the way home. Maybe they were over-stimulated. Maybe it was the sugar. Maybe I need to re-consider my music choices after all. But this is how the conversation went:

JT: Just yesterday morning, they let me know you were gone…

“Where did she go, Mommy?”

“She died, Michael.”

“Why, Mommy?”

“I don’t know, Michael.” (Even though I do know – she died of a drug overdose. How does one explain this to a 4-year-old?)

“Maybe she ate too much candy.”

“I don’t think so, Michael.”

“Yeah, maybe she choked on a Tootsie Roll!”

“No, Brady, I don’t think that’s quite it.”

“Well, maybe she didn’t take very good care of her body.”

“Probably right, Michael.”

Suzanne the plans they made put an end to you. I walked out this morning, and I wrote down this song. I just can’t remember who to send it to…

“Why can’t he remember where to send it, Mom?”

“I’m not sure, Michael.”

“He’s stupid!!”

“That’s enough, Brady.”

I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain. I’ve seen sunny times that I thought would never end. I’ve seen lonely times when I could not find a friend. But I always thought that I’d see you again.

“Why doesn’t he have any friends, Mommy?”

“Well, I don’t know if he…”

“Hey, Mom, why can’t he see her anymore?”

“Because she died, Brady.”

“Who?”

“The person James Taylor wrote this song about.”

“What was her name?”

“Suzanne.”

“How do you know that?”

“Because he says it in the song, if anyone was listening, boys.”

“Why did she die?”

“Haven’t we already been through this, guys?”

Been walking my mind to an easy time, my back turned toward the sun. Lord knows when the cold wind blows itll turn your head around

“Why is it cold where James Taylor is, Mom?”

“It’s a metaphor, Michael…”

“Maybe he’s on the moon! It’s really cold on the moon!”

“Brady!! He is NOT on the moon! You can’t even go there and you can’t breathe, so how could he sing? I think he’s in Antarctica.”

“Michael, he’s just trying to say that he’s sad about his friend.”

“No, Mom, he’s probably at the North Pole. It’s really cold up there and windy. Does he have to wear gloves to play the guitar?”

“He’s NOT at the North Pole!”

“Whatever, Mom.”

Won’t you look down upon me, Jesus, you’ve gotta help me make a stand. You’ve just got to see me through another day

“Is he saying a prayer to Jesus, Mom?”

“Sort of.”

“Why, what does he want?”

“Well, he just needs help with…”

“Hey Mom, if you say ‘Oh Jesus’ and you are not saying a prayer, Jesus won’t listen, right? He’ll be all like, ‘Oh no! Here comes that Brady again with his fake prayers! Don’t listen to him!’ And you won’t get what you want. Right Mom?”

“Uh, it’s a little more complicated than that….”

“Hey, Mom, does Santa need help from Jesus?”

“Santa?”

“Is he all ‘Hey, Jesus! I need to make some toys here! Can you help me?’ Next Christmas I’m going to leave Santa one of my dollars because it costs a lot of money to make all those toys. Then he’ll have more money to make toys. And he can help Jesus.”

“Ok, sure, guys. Why don’t we listen to some Iron Maiden?”

Advertisements

Sweet Honey Pony

April 10, 2013 at 11:35 am | Posted in Honey Pony, Horses, Kids | 7 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Well, this is a post I didn’t want to have to write so soon.

Our beloved pony, Honey, finally succumbed to the laminitis caused by the Cushing’s Disease, Lyme2011-07-27_16-17-23_828 Disease, and year and a half of neglect she had suffered. My goal when I adopted her was to give her the best retirement I possibly could and to ease any pain she had along the way. We did everything we could for her, but in the end her hoof and joint issues got the best of her and we simply couldn’t ask her to go on.

As every pet owner knows, this is the most difficult aspect of owning (do we really “own” them?) an animal. We almost always outlive them. And it leaves us with this awful responsibility and choice that we must make for our four-legged babies.

Honey was one of those really special ponies you don’t come across too often. Not only was she cute (never met a pony who wasn’t), she was incredibly sweet and willing (met a lot of ponies who weren’t). Oh, she had her moments… a warm summer day when she didn’t really feel like going for a walk and would plant her feet in the ground and let you tug on her head as if she were a 50-ton rock and you were an ant. But if you were patient and gentle and gave her time to think about it, she’d always decide to come with you.

She loved children and would get the sweetest look in her eye when they came around. Every single one of them seemed to fall in love with her, and the girls especially would spend hours braiding her super-thick mane and tail. If I had given them glitter and pink hair dye that pony would have been covered in it.

Roundpen StandingI loved how Honey would throw her scruffy-maned little head up at the sound of my voice or sight of me coming around the corner and shriek that sweet little pony whinny. I guess she had me pegged – carrots and scritches coming up.

So when she didn’t want to get up to eat anymore (although she would take her meal lying down if you put it in front of her) and I had to make the decision to let her go, it really was heart-wrenching. A friend who was trying to comfort me gave me some advice:

“What was Honey’s place in your life?” my friend asked,
“What doors did she open in your heart?
Think about why you two were brought together.”

I had never thought about losing an animal in this light before. Sometimes we think about why certain people come in and out of our lives, but seldom do we think about animals in those terms. Aren’t they just as important to us? Don’t they touch our hearts in the same way?

I thought about it… and I think Honey was brought into my life to remind me what it’s like to love unconditionally in difficult circumstances. Honey was sweet, but she wasn’t an easy pony to keep. She had numerous health issues and needed to be managed very carefully on a day-to-day basis. We were constantly checking and changing her supplement/vitamin/medication intake trying to find just the right balance. She had to be kept off grass and away from regular hay, and sometimes she would have mysterious stomach issues. I’d hoped she could be used as a regular mount for my children – especially Brady, who seemed to be much more grounded and relaxed when riding her. But that only proved to be possible for the first summer she was home. After that she was never consistently sound enough for regular riding. And of course I couldn’t ride her. I’ve always been the type that loves my horses but kind of wants to rush through all the custodial care and get to the riding. The only thing I could do with Honey was take care of her and love her. And somehow, she made this easy. She taught me a lot about patience, kindness and how to deal with chronic pain (I have a bit of that myself). She showed me that sometimes just being present is enough. And that a darling, damaged little body can hold a whole lot of love.

Honey 1So when it came time to let Honey go, I knelt in the thick bed of shavings next to her and put my forehead on hers. I thanked her for all she had done for me and my boys, and I told her the next place she would be going would be free of pain, free of limitations and free of fear. I know she heard me. I’m pretty sure she understood.

You touched everyone you met, little Honey-bear, and we will miss you very much. We’re all thankful for the gifts you gave us and the time we had with you. There will never be another one like you.

xo

P.S. We have now found a way to immortalize Honey by telling her story in a series of children’s books. Go to www.HoneyPonyBooks.com or check out Honey’s FaceBook page.

Blog at WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.

%d bloggers like this: