My mom texted me the other day. “We have a baby.” She was so excited.
Later, I spoke with her on the phone. She was effusive. This is a complete 180 for my mom. She had a bad horseback riding accident several years ago that left her with recurring back issues. From that point forward, horses were off limits. She didn’t even want to think about her grandchildren being close to one, much less riding one.
But then she met a man. A man who loves riding and training horses. And she fell in love with him. And slowly, she fell in love with the horses too.
“You need to bring the kids out to see the baby.”
It took a few weeks. First we had to wait for the momma horse not to be so protective. Then we had days and days and days of rain. Finally, it was time to take the kids to go see the foal.
My little buddy fell in love. Immediately. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen him take to anything as quick as he took to those horses. The baby fell in love with him too. She was following James around. It was one of the sweetest things I’ve ever seen.
When it was time to leave, James didn’t want to go. My mom promised that he could come back another day.
“Pop will have to teach you how to ride.”
I paused. “What?” I didn’t think my mom would ever let one of the kids on a horse. But she’s coming around. She’s changing. She’s happy. That makes me happy.
Even if I’m not used to saying “stepdad” yet.