Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Love my girl

I call her sunshine girl, snug bug and Ellie bellie. Never mind that she is in college now. A mama has a right to call her child anything she wants no matter how old they are, Right? Plus, she's my only girl.
This child is the one skipper and I call "the easy one". As a child she was creative, curious and easy going. She loved to play with her brother (15 months apart). They were best buddies growing up. They would play imaginative games for hours on end. Those were good times.
Throughout most of elementary school she was homeschooled. I just wanted to be with my kiddos and learn along with them. They did fine in school but we felt they needed "more". My girl used this freedom to pursue her interests of horses, reading, drawing (lots of horses) and writing. She wanted to be so many things and I wanted to help her.
At 9 she was in full blown horse crazy mode. She had a goofy pony named Sargent and she loved to ride him every day. She read every horse story there was. One of her favorites was Marguerite Henry's Misty of Chincoteague. She learned everything she could about Chincoteague ponies and she really wanted to go see them and experience pony penning day. Lucky for her she has a grandma that loves to send her grandchildren on trips, and since she was only nine, I had to go with her!
It was a girl's dream come true. We were in the water when the ponies swam across the channel. I cried. I couldn't believe we were there. To read these stories to your kids and then get to experience it first hand is just amazing.
She was so enamored with the Chincoteague ponies she wanted to buy one. Where would she get the money? She started a business. Yep, she did. Well, I helped her. It was called el's munchie crunchies. She baked and sold goodies at the local farmers market (back then you could do that without a commercial kitchen). She bought all the ingredients, baked up a storm and sold lots of her munchie crunchies. I had her keep all accounting records (that's real life math there!) She made $200 in four Saturdays. Not quite enough to buy a pony, but, she already had Sarg. She was content.
My girl loved to write. She would spend hours writing elaborate fantasy stories with elves and horses, of course. One day she decided to start a "newspaper". She called it Adventure News. She wrote about all kinds of things going on in our area and put in word searches and other fun stuff. The first issue was all hand done. Then she learned how to set it up with the computer. She gave copies to friends and our local librarian put Adventure News on display in the library (we have very cool rural librarians!). Her creative brain was always thinking up someone new!
At 10, the sizzler was born and my girl took on a surrogate mama role. She was my right hand gal. I don't know what I would have done without her. She was so loving and helpful with her little brother. She learned many lessons such as how much work it is to take care of a baby and how selfless you have to be.
When she was 11 she started a working student position at a local horse riding facility. She worked several hours a week grooming, exercising and helping with the horses and students who came for lessons. In exchange she received riding instruction. This was an amazing opportunity for her. The owner of the riding stable was hesitant to give her the opportunity because of her age. She soon learned that this girl was handy with horses and could work hard! She continued in this "job" until she was 15. The lessons she learned at that barn could not have been learned in a classroom. Real life. Raw. Smelly. Sweaty. She learned the meaning of work.
As a teen she went back to public school but kept up her creative pursuits and her riding. Soon, though, her love for the horses would take a back seat and music would fill her days. She taught herself to play guitar and sing. She joined the choir at school and the worship team at church. She stepped out of her comfort zone and sang and played guitar in front of an audience. I wish I was that brave. Just before she left for college she sang a JJ Heller song in church called When I Leave. I cried, of course.
Now she is finishing up her first year in college and has returned to one of her first loves; Art. She is painting, drawing and designing. She declared herself an art major with an emphasis on education/teaching. I am so thrilled that she has found her niche and is exercising her God given talents and passions. Love my girl.
My girl has always been creative. Whether it's the outfit she puts on, the way she decorates her room or the art she is dreaming up. She has ideas that want to come out!
I can't wait to see what she does next!

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