Saturday, October 24, 2009

A Bad Influence or Why You Shouldn't Hang Out With Your Mother


I’m such a bad mother. When Kelly came home from school yesterday, even though she had a lot of homework, I made her come riding with me. Well, I really didn’t have to make her. I just said, “I’m going riding after we eat. You’re welcome to come with me if you want...” Knowing full well she couldn’t pass up riding. I rinsed out my coffee cup and watched her out of the corner of my eye, nonchalant. Of course she wanted to go riding! She’s horse crazy just like me. I brainwashed her good. See! I am bad. What kind of mother brainwashes her kid to do something? I’m about as bad as those stage mothers who put fake eyelashes and red lipstick on their daughters and would stuff toilet paper in their bras if they were big enough to wear them because they want to catch the judge’s eye. Or a pedophile’s. I don’t know.

But horseback riding is different. I don’t just think that because it’s my thing to do. It really is different. One time I combined the two. When I was sixteen, my mother talked me into entering a beauty contest—the Miss Middletown Pageant. I did it because I was flattered she wanted me to enter. But when I was already signed up, I realized there was a category called talent. And since I didn’t play the flute or tap dance, I didn’t have any. Oh why did she make me enter?!—I wailed. What was I going to do?! The girls in the contest took lessons and had voice coaches and one of them even entertained the governor by playing Chopin on the piano at the governor’s ball. All I did was write stories and ride my pony. Now I knew I was halfway pretty even though I didn’t know how to walk in high heels or fix my hair, being a tomboy. But how was I going to compete with rich girls (those were the ones who got the lessons and the voice coaches) crooning Somewhere Over the Rainbow and playing the violin and the piccolo in fancy ballroom gowns? (What is a piccolo anyway? Isn’t there a Jenny Piccolo on Happy Days?) I didn’t have any talent per se. I was freaking. So I did the only thing I knew how to do. I wrote a story about my pony.

“Does your motorcycle nicker to you in the morning? Do your roller skates run up to you at the pasture gate for a pat on the neck?” Never mind. Hopefully I’ve improved since then.

But I won it! I won the talent award! I couldn’t stop crying up there. (Interesting since the ones who won the contest, didn’t even shed a tear.)

Anyway, even though I didn’t place in the beauty part of the contest, I never felt bad about it because the irony of winning the talent award outshined anything else. I sure showed them! Ha! Turned out I’m pretty talented after all! Forget that trombone I was thinking about taking up! Who needs it? Plus, I had some fierce competition. The winner later went on to become first runner-up in the Miss America Pageant. Besides, I already knew at sixteen-years-old that talent and what was inside a person was more important than outer beauty. Otherwise I would have known how to walk in those high heels.

I would enter Kelly in a beauty contest in a minute, she’s so pretty.


But I’d much rather her come out riding with me. Even if it means she’s up late trying to get her homework done. At least I’m not making her wear false eyelashes and red lipstick. And I can always write the teacher a note…

22 comments:

Gail said...

Making wonderful memories!

Claudia Condiff said...

Deb!
Great pictures, and she is a doll...I agree with your philosophy on bringing your child up on "horse sense".
I put the lipstick and rouge on my dolls, and galloped my Moms broom around the house. My Dad finally got me my first horse just after I got my diamond engagement ring...
should have kept the horse...

Snappy Di said...

Lovin' Kelly's boots... she is a beauty and the memories you make with her today will bind the two of you together forever. Pretty horse too!

I'm giving away a pretty scarf so come try to win it!

Di
The Blue Ridge Gal
(how is your mom?)

CountryDew said...

Being outside and exercising is a healthy activity. I wouldn't worry about it at all!

Beth said...

Kelly's a cutie for sure. And she's a lucky girl to have a Mom who teaches her about the greater importance of inner beauty.

And you know, that homework can wait. It will still be there when you get back, but these gorgeous October blue-sky days won't be here for much longer. And Kelly will grow up much too quickly and you'll be so very glad for those days you spent sweet time together. And Kelly will remember those times forever.

And that was so, so cool that you won the talent contest, even competing with the violin and piccolo girls. Yay for you!

Great post, Debi.

Amy Tate said...

Naaa, you didn't brain wash her. When it's in your blood, there isn't anything you can do about it.

Chrisc said...

Some of us really shouldn't hang out with our mothers but I think Kelly is very fortunate to have such a "bad" influence. My kids and I devised all sorts of fun with horses, teaching ourselves "tricks" that usually landed one of us on the ground, big fun!

Sloan said...

Kelly is beautiful!! You should put her in a beauty contest even if that makes you a stage mother!

Jeff said...

You have a wonderful mom - one that saw through the artificiality of the contest and knew that her daughter was just as good, if not better than the other contestants. And yes, Beth is right - the homework can wait. Wonderful riding weather doesn't come every day! What a wonderful story!

sweetflutterbys3 said...

Kelly has already won the best contest of all- a great mom! (corny, I know, but so true!) She will remember the time you spend with her most of all, esp. when she has little ones of her own.

Rural Rambler said...

The pageant story, what a lesson learned. This is a sweet post about Moms and daughters. It takes me back and I would love to have had a Mom that wanted me to ride with her. Loving the picture of Kelly with her horse in her cowgal boots! What sweet memories she will have AND tomboys are THE BEST! At any age.

Tammy said...

Such a bad influence... NOT! I wishwishwish my boys would come ride with me. Sometimes I sneak it in and pony a horse to the bus stop so my son HAS to ride back. But he's more impressed if I pick him up on the ATV.

I'm just hoping they marry a horse crazy girl like your daughter. Then I'll have a riding buddy and your daughter will have a husband that at least knows how to saddle, bridle and ride if they get the notion....

You are making great memories! Much better than a beauty contest. Her picture is very lovely....

Cynda said...

You are a wonderful mother! You are giving your daughter gifts she will remember for a life time. I always enjoy it when I see you two riding together and have to slow down and look. Don't worry about that homework. I heard Kelly got straight A's anyway!

Becky Mushko said...

When I was Kelly's age, I would have given anything for a chance to ride. I had to wait another 20 years.

Tanya said...

Aw, that was a beautiful story, really!!! And Kelly is a beauty and I'm sure she shines from the inside out because of a mom like you!

Greener Pastures--A City Girl Goes Country said...

You guys are great. Thanks for all the wonderful comments!

Going Crunchy said...

Whoo-hoo for you rebel Mama.

Motley said...

Kelly is LUCKY to have a mother like you! My parents always looked for ways to get rid of me!

Beautiful picture!

Motley

Christina said...

There is always time for homework. These times are special.

mommycool said...

i love horses but i ended up loving dogs...btw, am reading ANGEL FALLS by Kristin Hannah which tackle a family grief while riding a horse. I sure hope it's one of the hazards but its all depend on how you were trained I think. My dau used to ride and she's in Japan right now. Their horses are great! by now i do enjoy my puppy daughter named Mishah...a pure shih tzu...she's so cute
http://myownparadigms.blogspot.com/

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

A note claiming you took Kelly on a field trip involving science, geography, and PE. I like it!

Kelly is a gorgeous young lady. You are so lucky to have a child who enjoys horses as much as you do.


~Lisa

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