Our Journey Starts
Amory has loved animals from the very beginning, well all animals except those with feathers. And she is particularly fond of the slithery creepy crawly ones. She had a a snake birthday party for her seventh birthday – we had a snake that stretched the length of our garage, no kidding. So it was no surprise that animals would continue to be a huge part of our lives.
The life with my ex-husband, her father was like a brick tower with a few bricks missing. We could see out to amazing things, we could even step out and do a few things. But there was always the guilt he heaped on us afterwards because we did not spend that time solely with him, on him, or doing what he thought we should be doing.
And one of the things he did not think highly of was anything to do with Amory’s love of animals. I did not stand up to him when he convinced our older daughter that her dream was scary so she’d she quit. But I did get brave and stood up to him for Amory to do the zoo’s teen program (going on her third year now). And after that it was a little less scary to be brave.
I finally listened to God and trusted Him to get us out. I didn’t want to be treated as worthless, stupid, and called horrible names anymore. We left. It was the hardest, scariest and most God favored thing I’ve ever done.
Our Ability Can Amaze Us, If We Let It
The next addition to our animal journey was FFA. But FFA, goats and agriculture was very new to both Amory and I. She had basic animal knowledge but we had never set up a goat pen, bought supplies to keep said goat alive much less help it thrive or bought an actual goat. To say we were in the proverbial stream with the paddle probably being chewed on by a goat somewhere is very accurate!
But we amazed ourselves. I made myself a nuisance at a Tractor Supply one afternoon and left with a car load of supplies and a head overflowing with information. Amory and I cleaned, ziptied, and shoveled our way to what was a decent looking pen! All by ourselves. Before I left my marriage I had not used tools or was allowed to even paint anything because I wouldn’t do it right and mess it up. But now … do not tell us we cannot do anything anymore!
In front of our first goat Fernando’s cage we hung this sign –
To welcome Fernando Dolly (from the ABBA song and Dolly Parton respectively), Amory’s school FFA project
In Over Our Hoofs (and Horns)
If we pay attention they are signs to remind us that God is still making the impossible possible. After we took possesion of Fernando he spent a lot of time sick and then he was just stubborn! And we were overwhelmed – how do we get him healthy and get him to show?!?
The next picture is Mr. Jeff and Amory. You see when we were in over our heads, in the weeds so to speak with all of the goat things God sends His hands and feet. He sends this Navy vet, rodeo circuit teddy bear of a guy who has taken Amory under his paw. He and his wife have helped with her confidence, given her skills – he took her on her first driving lesson, and loved her back to loving herself.
Thank you Mr. Jeff for being a father figure and showing her how gentlemen behave and a father should act.
Thank you God for seeing my impossible and saying it’s possible and sending people to be His hands and feet (and heart).
After Fernando Dolly we purchased Gilbert Humphrey from our first goat auction. His name comes from Gilbert from Anne of Green Gables (continuing the men of great romance theme). And Humphrey because Amory’s friend Daniel picks the middle names. I made this sign to welcome him home!
We traveled to Rockdale, Texas with Heather and Jeff to La Copa Ranch to our first ever goat auction. Amory has a good eye for picking out champion goats. Most of the ones she picked out went for high dollar! But Gilbert was priced right and she did a great job during the auction. She didn’t get flustered raising her hand and placing bids. We rode home with Gilbert and Amory in the back of the car. Gilbert and Amory shared carrots from Buccees, and we learned he doesn’t like hummus.
Along with Gilbert we have Westley, as in Princess Bride. We are still getting to know Westley and he is still learning about us. But he and Amory are fitting well together and getting along!
From This Mom … My Point Of View
In one weekend Amory did three livestock shows. We were so done. Each one was an hour to an hour and a half away from our house and the school barn. We went to all the fairgrounds. Travis the Traverse (what we fondly call my car) will never be the same. He smells of goat pee, the antifungal spray we have to use after every show and impossible meat whoppers from Burger King. It’s not pleasant. It gives a certain sting to the back of the eyeball and a burn to the throat.
But I would not trade the memories made, the moments of lessons learned, and the excitement and defeat experienced in equal amounts. I want to say if your child is passionate about something you become invested. You better be their biggest cheerleader, the perfect picnic packer, the best darndest driver, and the packer of ALL THE THINGS.
Because if you don’t you’re missing out on what could possibly make them fly. The thing that gives them confidence, joy, strength and their purpose. Now it’s alright to occasionally throw your kid a whopper as you’re flying to their next thing. It’s okay to forget to pack the one thing again. But show up. Show up. And speak all the positive Pollyanna things you can into them so they can do their thing knowing they are best. That’s all. That’s my take away. And as Amory says – thank you for coming to my ted talk.