Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Fall: In Short

I've been struggling to find an identity for this blog since the fall and the result is that I have mostly stopped writing. Now that my son is in school, I'm less comfortable blogging about my kids. And this was a blog about parenting and babies. Now they're not babies. Their struggles are becoming more private and it doesn't seem fair to blast them over the Internets. My son is quirky and brilliant. He has long hair like a rock star and struggles athletically. He can do math and solve puzzles far beyond his years but the quirky seems to be the most obvious thing about him to other kids. His struggles with that are not internet fodder. I will say we absolutely love his school and are completely blessed that we get to go there.

This fall has been brutal with the sudden death of my beloved friend Michael McLaughlin. Then his death was punctuated with a week long hospital stay with my son. The day after my son came home came home, my father went into the hospital with abdominal pain and stayed for nearly two months with advanced lyme disease. But he came home about a month ago to begin what is going to be a long complicated convalescence and recovery.

I also started horseback riding again after a 10 year hiatus. I started riding at a very fancy barn in Concord. But they only have 1 school horse and I was kind of outgrowing him. He was very sweet but old and limited. Also, the culture at the barn just didn't work for me. I'm kind of looking for a place that I can get involved in and this was not it. Hopefully I can start to lease a horse or own one again in a couple years once K starts school and child care expenses aren't so obnoxious. It was not going to happen there. It was a beautiful barn, but with board running closer to 2k than 1k for somebody to tack up and groom your horse for you, it was not my style. I like to tack up and groom my own horse!

So, I moved to a barn in Sudbury which isn't nearly as clean and sanitary. In fact, it's downright nasty smelling at 10 in the morning when most barns have been cleaned for the day. But they have a lot of school horses and hopefully I'll click with one. So far, they've been pokey and slow. But when it's 20 degrees out and my confidence is lacking, this is not a bad thing. Even the nicest horses have been known to rear and buck when the temperature drops. I'll ride there once per week through the middle of March and re-assess. I like the culture: the kids, even the boarders tack up their own horses. They have a lot of kid oriented rules that the adults are expected to follow which is annoying but livable.

I want to find a trainer that I really click with. I like the women I've been riding with at both barns, I just don't know if there's long term possibilities there. It's hard to find a great trainer. I don't think I've had one for a long, long time. Not since I was in my early 20's. Some people that teach riding can break things down into individual muscle movements to change that yield dramatic results. "Now just move your left leg back one inch, wiggle your inside rein and lift it like a cone towards the ceiling and really sit up..." And suddenly your horses head drops and her back lifts and you are floating along... It's hard to find somebody who can break it down like that.

The problem is that I really don't want to go much farther than a half hour of Somerville and that limits my options. There's just not a lot of barns with school horses and an indoor arena so close to the 128 belt. I'm not going to move out to the 'burbs just to be closer to riding opportunities. I just don't see that happening.

The other thing that happened this year was that I transformed into a raging football enthusiast. For anybody who's known me for a while this is a bit of a shock. I went to Sarah Lawrence College for Fuck's sake where football was about as popular as a turd in a punchbowl. I've always hated TV sports. HATED them. Then I inexplicably started to soften on this after I had Eric and now I find myself ignoring my kids, wearing Pats jerseys and yelling at the TV every Sunday for sixteen weeks. (hopefully longer this year!) Last year I would argue that I was a Patriots fan, not a football fan. But nope. I like watching even when the Pats aren't playing. It's much less stressful! I know the stats and the schedule by heart and I can only wonder: Who is this person and what has she done with the real me?

So, that's where I've been. Worrying about my dad, wondering what to blog about when the kids are off limits and trying to get through the nasty weather.


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