Hello, My Name is MAP and I am a Hoarder. It’s the next mental illness I need to find a pill for. My family thinks I am an animal hoarder. I reason that it is because I only have one child.
And that maternal need keeps sneaking back up on me over and over. I held a nine month old the other day. Wow-that was like Iwannanotherbaby crack.
So let me introduce you to our funny farm–love me, love my animals….
Here is the deal-every little girl wants a pony. I did, I had one with a little blue western saddle. And thus began a lifetime of equine love and eternal poverty. I have always had this un-relenting love of horses. I do not know what it is. And, unfortunately, 16 does as well. I used to drag her to horse shows when she was a toddler in the hopes that the whole thing would bore the hell out of her. But with all the extra dogs, people, kids, ponies and hay bales to jump over, she loved it. We are on horse number 6 right now. I have put many trainers’ kids thru college and paid for more veterinarian pickups than I can count.
Oh, we tried gymnastics (no flexibility), soccer (cartwheels on the defense line), softball (do NOT throw me that ball it hurts!) basketball (liked the outfit), tennis (too hot), swim team (only for the social parts-meets), golf (BC really tried but the cart is the best part to 16), we tried EVERYTHING. Nope, kept going back to the barn. I will say that she is a lovely, quiet, rider, who, for some reason, can remember a 17 fence jumper course but not remember to flush a toilet. Oh well………….
If you value your marriage-keep your kids out of horses. If you want to keep her focused, not dating, not into shit, then get into horses. I will say, it is cheaper than rehab. But you’ll be buying your clothes at Costco. I promise.
We have 3 DOGS. Roscoe, a Jack Russell Terrier with an intense fear of weather, Willie a mixed terrier with a serious Napoleon complex, and Max, a mixed redneck chihuahua of dubious origin who thinks my Karastan rug in the dining room is his personal toilet.
We have a cat. Kiwi is a tuxedo cat and at the ripe age of seven, hates the terriers, brings nice presents in through the cat door like half dead baby rabbits and sleeps in my office.
BC has a fish tank. A gazillion gallon one that used to house some Oscars that started the size of a quarter then grew huge and he had to give them away on Craigslist. Seriously some chick from south Georgia drove up to get them with a bucket. Now it just sits there with some sucker fish in it. It’s gross. Thank god it’s in his man cave.
16 also has a rabbit. Named Ollie. Sits in a cage all day long and watches her play Xbox.
In our past, we have had a snake, a bearded dragon (which I do not suggest Googling unless you put ‘lizard’ after it) fancy rats, a robo hamster, and various beta fish. My parents don’t like to come visit because of all the chaos that ensues but now that the reptiles and rodents are basically gone we see them more often.
I have to give BC some credit here. He’s pretty good with all this. Well, except the horse. And I get that.
But there is something so relaxing about the smells of the barn. And when Willie (my favorite) claims my lap the minute I get home from work and sit down to watch the news. And Kiwi walks in from his long day of hunting the hood and says ‘Hello’ (he really does) in his cat voice.
And the joy that I see on 16’s face every time she sees her horse.
So, when other parents get upset that their teens are sleeping till 2 on weekends, I find it a relief. Keeps me from going out and bringing home a rescue kitten.
All the good ones are gone by then.