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Our Littlest Cowboy

June 13, 2012

I think I will remember this as the summer we were overtaken by horses.

I’ve heard the hoof beats from afar, going back to the year Faith was eight and could not stop reading Marguerite Henry books.

So did I at that age. But then I moved on to Frances Hogson Burnett and never looked back–except to form the opinion that English riding was far superior to Western.

The joke’s on me.

Along with the cowboy boots, cowboy hats, stampede string and barn-stained jeans competing for space on my mudroom floor.

Faith is in her second session of riding lessons and last week, one of her best friends, who rides in the junior rodeo circuit, came within a whisker of going to Nationals in Barrels.

Guess what Faith wants to do? Her pitch is that the premiums for placing well on the rodeo circuit will pay for her college degree in Equine Science and a graduate degree in horse training.

We’re not there yet. But Faith, who has my determined streak, remains hopeful.

The surprise of the summer is that Joy, beneath her complacent exterior, has a cowboy streak, too.

She has started talking back. Like when we suggest an activity, she’ll suggest something else.

Like she has started moving away from us. The funniest moments are when she takes off in her wheelchair, pursuing something that catches her eye. Then she looks around, realizes we aren’t with her, and fusses as if to say, “Why did you go away from me?!”

Yesterday, she was sitting in her Child-Rite seat–the oversized Bumbo behind Daisy below — on the floor in her playroom, decided she wanted something out of reach, folded herself forward onto the floor, crawled out and helped herself.

Lately, she has added watching “Bill Nye the Science Guy” re-runs on YouTube to her list to favorite activities. Joy knows if she just pushes enough buttons, she’ll eventually find the Internet.

A few days ago, I heard her singing to herself upstairs in our bedroom –a sure sign she’s ready to get up out of bed –and discovered that for the first time she’d gotten herself up, and had cruised across the room to her dresser and was trying to get into the drawers. (She sleeps on a floor bed in our room like she did in Korea.)

We’ve always remarked that Joy is easier-going than he twin sister, Amy. But maybe, underneath the physical differences imposed by cerebral palsy, our littlest cowboy is more like Amy than we knew :).

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