|so much joy from horses over the years!|
Horse riding (or just being around horses – which I love just as much!) has been put on the shelf for a time. Usually this would be a cause for unhappiness or brow-beating (why don’t you just get out there, girl!?). At the moment it’s because I’ve just had a lovely baby boy. I’m up with him quite a lot at night and he’s also feeding often during the day. I just don’t have much extra energy or time. It’s easy to feel sorry for yourself when you can’t do one of the things that gives you the most joy – a thing that is just for you. But when this feeling starts to creep in I have the perfect antidote.
Will was born in only five hours. One of the possible downsides of such a quick delivery was that he wasn’t quite in the right position. But who knows – he might have come out that way anyway! He emerged with a huge bruise on his head, which led to early jaundice followed by low heart rate and episodes of apnea. He stayed in the Neonatal Unit for a week, and we stayed with him – wondering at times if he was going to make it through. He’s home now and growing at a record rate. But I keep remembering a little bouquet of flowers on the desk at the unit. It thanked the doctors and nurses for all their care and listed the dates of their little baby – a period of life of only a few weeks.
It might sound extreme, but when I am up at three feeding Will and feeling exhausted, or when I think how much I would love to run away and just be with the horses (oh, lie on my back and hear them tearing up the grass!), I simply remember how it felt when we thought we might lose him. It’s suddenly a blessing to be able to hold him and feed him through the night and to care for him when he’s fussing and doesn’t want to go back to sleep. Yes, sometimes I’m tired and emotional, but it’s so worth it. And I’m more than happy to wait to get back to the world of horses. They’ve been around for centuries and they’re not going anywhere soon.
In the last two of my short walks down our street (feeling a huge sense of achievement for just leaving the house), I’ve seen a horse go by in a float. It’s like a little reminder that they are waiting for me. (Though if the ‘Secret’ really worked, I’m pretty sure there’d be a herd of them in my backyard, trampling the garden beds). I’m lucky to have a wonderful husband who I know will help me get back in to riding, and I’m already feeling more ambitious about it and making mental plans to do more jumping and to challenge myself a bit more.
I’ve always known there are times in our lives when we have to step back from our passions, but now I realise that sometimes we can be hugely grateful for that. Having no extra time or energy is a tiny price to pay for bringing a beautiful little child into the world. I can always draw some imaginary horses in the mean time. Yes, my sketch book and pencil are nearby, I just can’t seem to pick them up yet!