Monday, May 23, 2011

The Spaz lives vicariously through her daughter... and other stuff, too...

I haven't had a lot of blogging time lately and part of that is due to my attempt to organize my life.  Working on getting my proverbial crap together hasn't left me a whole lot of time to flit around the blogosphere or post anything of my own.

But things are looking a little more together in Spazland.

One of the things on my list was to get the kids involved in the activities they've been begging to do for years. While my kids have always been fairly busy with friends and family, they've never been really involved in too many extra-curricular activities. Bug was involved in scouts for a year, Munchkin has girl scouts and Goober played one season of flag football, but other than that the kids mostly spend their time playing with friends and lounging around the house proclaiming boredom.

So it was a big goal of mine to get them each involved in an extra-curricular activity.  Bug enters middle school next year and I know how easy it is for unoccupied middle-schoolers to get themselves into trouble.  Munchkin's only a year behind him, too.  So in an attempt to keep them out of the path of certain mayhem, I'm planning to keep them busy.

Not only that, but summer is quickly barreling down upon us and I definitely want the kids to have some stuff to do this summer. 

The boys have both been begging for karate lessons for what seems like forever. In fact, I distinctly remember last summer getting a pamphlet for a karate school outside of the movie theater and thinking that I had been thinking about putting the boys in karate forever.  And that was a year ago. 

So the time has come.  Today the boys will take their first karate lesson.  They're following in the footsteps of The Man who spent nearly his entire youth in a karate studio.  They're both so excited they reminded me of the lesson this morning before school. 

Munchkin, a girl after my own heart, wanted nothing more than to saddle up and take riding lessons.  I winced when I researched the cost of lessons, but finally found a place not too far away that was almost reasonable.  I set up a lesson for her on Friday afternoon and went on an all day quest to locate boots and a helmet at thrift stores before her lesson.  I did score a pair of paddock boots in her size for $5, but the helmet we had to buy new.  I guess it all evened out.

Friday afternoon, Munchkin could barely contain herself as we drove to the barn. We live in horse country. We have dressage show grounds so close to us that we can hear the announcers from our back yard when the wind is right. We're a hop, skip, and small jump away from polo country and the most elite of Florida's hunter/jumper society.

But that's not what I want for Munchkin.  When I was growing up, the barn I rode at was laid back.  Sure, we could put on our best breeches and boots and fit in with the crowd at the shows on the weekends, but back at the barn there was no pretension.  We had broken fences and weedy grass and broken pick up trucks in the back.  And when I was growing up it was my favorite place to be.

So when I pulled into the driveway at the barn where Munchkin was starting lessons, I was thrilled when a little Jack Russel terrier came running over to us and jumped right up on us.  I was elated to see patches of sand and fences that hadn't seen a coat of paint in at least a decade.  We called over the fence to a girl who was in the barn and she motioned for us to come on in, even though there were several horses grazing in the yard right outside of the barn.  A big, dark brown Thoroughbred named Bud walked right over and greeted us and I thought Munchkin might faint with delight.

The girl brought out a large pony named Misty and clipped some leads on to her to get her tacked up for Munchkin's lesson. Munchkin couldn't resist giving Misty a hug as she was being brushed.  I thought I might cry.  Instead, I took pictures.

During the lesson I had to keep myself from shouting my own instructions out to Munchkin.  I kept apologizing to her instructor, who was incredibly patient with both Munchkin and her pain in the ass mother.  I promised that from now on, I'd just drop Munchkin and go since I obviously couldn't keep my mouth shut.

Munchkin gained a lot of confidence during her lesson and by the end of it had gotten the hang of trotting and posting and getting Misty to move even when she didn't want to.  When the lesson was over, Munchkin truly didn't want it to end.  Misty, however, was thrilled to be done and ready to get back to grazing.

Her next lesson is scheduled for tomorrow. I promised I wouldn't stay and watch. Hopefully it won't kill me to just drop her off.