Saturday, February 15, 2014

Mama Bear

I had my first "scary" moment with Ranch Boy Jr. the other day. Not bad for 9 months! I mean, he had a high fever with a cold and that was scary but this was different because if something had happened it would have been totally MY fault.

{Junior is learning to crawl and right now can only go backwards and he ends up in the funniest places.}

I have always been a bit of a worrywart- I now understand where the term "mama bear" comes from. Yes, I've been a  bit protective of Junior but I am not OVERprotective. And as time passed, I have become a more relaxed mother. Junior was my first child and maybe my only, so of course I want to protect him with my life.

I remember feeling that way about My Boy when I first got him. Every little scratch, I worried. I remember his first lameness.....his first abscess. My sister called me (that is where MB was boarded at the time) and said, "I think your horse has a broken back. He will hardly walk." I had just gotten off work. It was dark and pouring down rain. It was at least an hour and a half drive in the rain and commute to get up there to check on him.  Long story short, it was a hoof abscess (hot nail) and not a broken back but I remember being sick to my stomach and not sleeping all night while waiting until the vet came the next morning (he was better then next morning after a little bute with his dinner.)

After I became involved with Ranch Boy I learned to relax a little about horses. Helping him care for 30+ horses and seeing a variety of injuries over the last three years has helped me realize that a little scrape is not going to kill them. An emergency is an emergency, and I still probably worry more and would be quicker to call the vet before Ranch Boy would, but I have definitely learned to not be such a mama bear.

I think before I had a child, I was a natural motherly type and treated the animals in my care the same way I figured I would if I was a parent. I try to be vigilant about preventing potentially dangerous situations. I cap my t-posts (I know someone who lost a mare who decided to impale herself on one by trying to jump the fence when her pasture-mate was led away) I make sure there are no nails or protruding things that my horses could hurt themselves on. No, my pasture is not perfect, but I have done the best with what I have. I think we all know we could put our horse in a rubber padded stall and they'd find a way to injure themselves.

But having a child......a lot of my worry about horses flew out the window. My world was centered around Junior. And now that he is starting to scooch and crawl around, I see everything as dangerous to him, while he sees the world as his oyster. I won't share the entire story of what happened the other day but he basically got a hold of something he shouldn't have. I'm sure most parents have had almost happen with their babies, but it did make my heart pound. I knew he was okay to the best of my knowledge but the feeling of "OMG- I might have just seriously hurt my kid"- I couldn't believe that a silly, split-second decision could have ended differently. It made me open my eyes and remember that as his mother, I am solely responsible for his safety and well-being. That awesome responsibility is huge, and emotionally scary at times. But without that intense feeling, I wouldn't be able to do my job as a mama. And its the best job in the world. I gave Junior some extra snuggles and kisses that day, vowing to always do my best to protect my little bear cub from harm.

Ranch Bear Girl


Rocky Mountain Yankee said...

I had that feeling so many times when my daughter was your little boy's age. I remember them all vividly but she survived and is now 8 years old. I won't say those moments go completely away but they have lessened now that she is somewhat responsible for keeping herself safe. Good luck and don't be too hard on yourself!

juliette said...

Oh, Ranch Girl, you are a good horsey mommy and an excellent mommy to Junior. It is horrible the worry, the dread, the what-ifs. I am a worrywart too and I do think it gets easier a little as they grow, but not really. I am learning to do the best I can and try to find faith to take the rest of the worry away.

When Maizie was 7 months old I had her up on our bed to take photos of her because she was smiling. As I took a photo she rolled off onto the hardwood floor! It was a high drop and I screamed so loud as she went because I saw it all and couldn't catch her. Brian and his father were outside and they heard me screaming. She was totally fine - completely unhurt, but I was devastated. I couldn't believe I almost blew it. She was my only child and I thought I hurt her by my own negligence. Oh, it was the worst day ever!

But she survived and amazingly is still thriving in spite of me. I can remember being awake all night when she was in kindergarten and was invited to a friends' house for a playdate. I worried that the mom might drive them somewhere and I didn't think the mom was too swift. What if she pulled out into an intersection? I was so freaked out and I created all sorts of horrible scenarios in my imagination.

Now, she is 15 and a whole new set of worries are here. But, still, it is the same. All you can do is try to do your best and let go and have faith. That's all we can do!

juliette said...

Forgot to say...that photo of Junior is the very best! He is too cute!

Ranch Girl Diaries said...

Thank you for the comment on the photo and the kind words. The dreaded fall- yes, I'm trying to prevent it but Jr is getting so brave! We used to prop him on the couch surrounded by pillows with toys but now he will turn around or fall into his stomach and squirm so we have to watch him at all times! I think kids are resilient despite our best efforts they will fall (literally and figuratively :) and sometimes get hurt. ...the best we can do is just be there for them.

Ranch Girl Diaries said...

Ha ha yes- I'm prepared for a lifetime of worry I'm afraid...... how do you ever let them go to school?? Egawds!!

Mare(+Missy) said...

I clearly don't have children (maybe someday?), but I am a crazy worry wart when it comes to horses...
In fact, I probably shouldn't have kids. A runny nose would give me a panic attack;)