Imagine this. The four kids – ages seven, four, three, and two sitting around the dinner table not eating dinner. Because you know….that would be too easy. Instead someone is trying to cut the table into pieces using a butter knife while complaining that their juice tastes like water, someone is putting food in their mouth to spit it out to the dog, someone is pretending they are too asleep to eat and another is stuffing so much pasta in their mouth, they are certain to choke. And then comes the bait…..if everyone finishes their meal, we promise to do something super fun…..the rodeo and all that it entails.
It is a family tradition at this point. Each year we go. Each year we love it. We pull out the hats and try to find the boots. We promise the time of their little lives. Pile into the car blaring The Bull 94.9 on the radio. Pull in and see flashing lights….the cop tells us that they are all sold out and Jeremy and I look at each other in shock.
It’s like that moment when you are a teen and you screwed up your parents car. Your eyes get big. Your heart beats fast. You know you have to tell but you really don’t want to. It’s pure fear. And our little army of noisemakers are expecting pony rides and funnel cakes and barrel races. IT WAS PROMISED. THE FOOD WAS INGESTED FOR THIS VERY REASON.
The world ends.
Not really but it was very very sad and our little nuggets had no reason to be happy for any photos. But I asked anyway….they all said yes….I couldn’t ask for smiles so we did have one sad cowboy.
He had fallen asleep in the car and that made things extra emotional.
As hard as it was on them….and it was….don’t let those sweet faces fool you….it is telling of how we all handle expectations, disappointment and change. I am a Weston….that pain runs deep and I need a good cry about it before anything else becomes an option. I used to say that I was sensitive….but in general, it’s not a sensitivity about what others think of me or say about me….my older brother toughened me up about that a long time ago. It’s a soft spot to failed plans and unrealized hopes. Those hit the hardest.
Seeing how the kids handle those moments….it teaches me so much. Not just about them….but about myself. About life. About how to listen to emotions but not always trust them. About how we try so hard but sometimes we get the horns…the short end of the stick…the poop on our boot. It teaches me about trust….to breathe….to feel it but not to cling to it….and most importantly to hope.
I’m getting a whole lot deeper than I intended….but if you are hurting….you just want to hide your face in your hat and cry for a bit…..I get it. But also know….its amazing what a little cuddle time, a funny movie and a batch of cookies will do for your spirits.
And that even the strongest of cowboys are allowed to cry….get it out….and then turn up that chin because it may not be what you expected….but it will be ok.
Speaking of ok….this dude totally didn’t know what was going on and he was just happy to make a loud noise stomping on a little sheet metal.
And this guy is a true happy soul….sure, I’m 110% positive he still wants a pony ride….but there isn’t a whole lot that can suppress that smile.
And then there is my deep thinker. my old soul. my contemplative kid.
He can force smiles….walk the straight line….stare into that camera and put on a happy face. But I would much rather prefer capturing him like this….looking way WAY too grown and just being his serious self.
And we got a photo of our youngest there too. She was kicking me so hard that I have a hunch she might be the toughest one yet.
OH MY LORDY IS HE CUTE!
Wondering if he could see the pony rides from the ladder…
And the face he makes when I talk about having more kids….
In reality…this will probably be our last baby. Our final ride into the world of pregnancy and all that. One of these days I will write a post all about that and how it’s breaking my heart just a little to think about the end of an era. But like I said….I don’t like change. And that feels like a very big change.
I can’t complain. I really can’t. I have the best of the best. Wanting more of that isn’t wrong either. It’s just the time to throw in the towel….or the hat. And learn to really be content in what comes next….no matter what that might be.
And you can bet your bottom dollar that next year, we will be back….five kids in tow and dressed in our boots and our hats and ready for a pony ride.