Even though we all missed my mom terribly, it was nice having Dad around.
Ellie really was the light of his life. Grandpa doted on that little girl something fierce.
And I wasn’t about to complain. I mean…what mom of three kids ever has a chance to really shower?
Muppet was cool with it, too. She got to enjoy some nice long walks around town.
If only everything was going as smoothly. Alas, it rarely does. Turns out that Owen’s grades were slipping because he was skipping school. That explains why my genius son was getting C’s. He won’t be skipping any time soon. I put the fear of Mama into his little heart.
There was no shortage of work to be done on the ranch.
I kept running across the most beautiful mare and I was determined to have her be my next jumper.
The only problem was that she was determined to NOT be my next jumper.
I’d never been thrown from a horse before. Tiberius never threw me. Coquette never threw me. Juniper never threw me. This horse IMMEDIATELY threw me. Too bad for her I wasn’t about to give up.
Finally after several weeks of coaxing her in the wild she gave up and came to live on the ranch. Despite being an incredibly skilled jumper right off the bat, she had a knack for coming in 2nd during competitions.
So I named her Blister. She shows up after all the work is done.
I had no real plans to breed Blister yet. Lucan was still a foal and he’d need to start training before too long. I only have so many hours in the day.
A couple of months after she was born, Finn and I took Ellie over to meet his parents.
They were overjoyed with another grandbaby. Mr. and Mrs. McNamara were racking up more grandchildren than my parents! Finn’s sister, Sarah, just had triplets and that was in addition to the three children she already has!
Even their dog was excited. But Hoover loves babies. Just one more kiddo who will drop food on the floor for him to vacuum up.
I must say that my father was not always a good influence on my boys.
He had a tendency to keep them up past their bedtime and encourage them to chase their dreams. I’m all for dream chasing but I was not prepared for the courage he gave them to ask about boarding school.
“You guys, it’s 11pm! Why in God’s name are you still up!” I don’t know how Finn managed to get all that out between yawns. He was dead on his feet after a 36 hour emergency shift.
Then the back and forth twin whispers started up.
“You tell them!”
“Shh. Shh. Don’t tell them!”
“We have to tell them or we can’t go.”
“Alright you two, get over here and tell us whatever it is so we can all get some sleep.” I herded the boys and my husband over to the couch for a family meeting.
Even Muppet joined the conversation. She’s a decision-making member of this family, too.
“Ok. Ok. So O-O and I want to go to boarding school. Like…I wanna go to the Florence Artist’s Academy and Oey wants to go to Fort Lawrence Military Training Camp for Boys.”
“YEAH! Gramps was telling us how much we would learn there! Like real specialized stuff! You know how badly I wanna be a fighter pilot, Mom! And Aiden really, really wants to be a painter one day! We could get a jump-start and be really good later and stuff!”
“Please, please, Mom?”
“Well, honey? It seems like a good idea. And we could afford the tuition.” Finn looked at me with eyes that were pleading nearly as much as the boys!
So I sent my boys out into the world way before I was ready. Then I made plans to kill my father.
Just kidding. Mostly.