legs

Jaydn 9 years oldWhen you’re a kid…especially one who loves to ride horses, it seems to be inevitable that you will get bucked off and have a broken bone or two in your lifetime, but to break both arms at the same time, right before the beginning of summer break is…well, it really stinks. Nevertheless, that is exactly what happened to my grand niece, Jaydn Mortensen. Jaydn loves horseback riding. She has been riding for quite a while now, and recently she has started barrel racing and showing her horses. She is developing into quite an equestrian. It is a skill that comes from a complete and total love of all things…horse. And that definitely describes Jaydn to a tee.

The summer has been a bit of a disappointment for Jaydn, because she fell off of her horse, and in the process, broke both arms. Now, I have never broken a bone, so I can’t say that I understand just how Jaydn feels, but I will tell you this…breaking both arms would pretty much render a person virtually helpless…especially if the cast has to go above and below the elbow. When that happens, the person can’t even do the basic personal care tasks. For an eleven year old girl that would be horrendous. The things you would have to depend on your parents to do, would make you feel like a total baby. I’m not sure how far up her arms Jaydn’s casts went, but in all reality, it is a tough thing to have both arms in a cast…very limiting for sure, and not a fun way to spend half of your summer.

Jaydn loves going to the lake with her parents, four wheeling, and playing in the water, fishing, or anything else he dad is doing. She loves helping him work on cars, four wheelers, or anything he happens to be working on. I’m sure that many of these things were limited too, with two broken arms. It really can be the pits to just have to sit and watch the summer go by. Oh I suppose she could go for walks, and that is something that would interest me, but I’m not sure Jaydn would be very impressed. She would probably think it was boring.
Sean, Jayden, & Amanda
Nevertheless, broken arms can’t last forever, and most casts come off after six weeks, leaving her some of the summer to do what she loves. Still, I expect that having casts on made the summer seem short. While she is looking forward to middle school, I’m not sure she will be ready for it to get here so quickly after getting her casts off. The main thing is that they will be off when school starts, because, lets face it, starting middle school with both arms in a cast would be horrible. So, Jaydn…here’s to a better year, and next time you decide to fall off of your horse, try to land on your feet…because two broken legs is a little easier to deal with…most of the time. Today is Jaydn’s 11th birthday. Happy birthday Jaydn!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

As we get closer and closer to the Christmas break in school, I am reminded of the many Christmas Programs of the past. So many schools don’t do those any more, and I find that very sad, but as most of you know there might be someone who is offended by such activities. Again, I find that sad. I am reminded of the program where I started out in the choir, and then was elected to be an angel. I didn’t need wings for that one, because I was so excited that I was floating all on my own…well, it felt like it to me anyway. That was the most exciting Christmas program ever for me, and it was probably a good thing I was an angel then, because I don’t think acting for really for me, or at least, I had no interest in it later on.

I remember the one where the choir was performing, and one of the boys got too hot, or nervous, or had locked his legs, and suddenly he passed out right in front of the whole crowd. The music teacher was horrified, and really didn’t know what to do. She was leading the choir, and the show must go on, you know, so she tried in vain to get him to just get up, but to no avail. He couldn’t after all, because he was out cold. Finally a couple of teachers came up and carried him out of the gym. He was fine, but very embarrassed. I don’t recall if he came back in for the rest of the program, but I don’t think I would have wanted to.

The programs my girls and my grandchildren were in have special meaning to me. Though they varied in theme and some were after you couldn’t make a Christmas program be about the true meaning of Christmas, they were all precious in my heart. Little tiny voices singing loudly, and often off key. Forgotten words, and the teacher reminding the child of their lines. Those dreaded costume failures, that thankfully weren’t as bad as some of the celebrities failures. The jitters and tears over parts forgotten, or even that the child worried would be forgotten. It all added up to the Christmas program, and it didn’t matter if it was a total flop or done to perfection, when it was your kid out there, it was the best program you had ever seen…and you truly meant that.

As a little girl, my mom was always on the go. She had long slender legs that she though were too skinny at the time. Don’t most of us wish we had such a problem these days.  Of course, most kids, especially back then were in pretty good shape. Kids didn’t sit in front of the television set…probably because they didn’t have one, but even if they had, they probably wouldn’t have watched it much. It just wasn’t what kids did back then.

Mom didn’t really change very much over the years. She was still slender even after having 5 children. I have looked at pictures of her over the years, and I always notice her tiny shoulders…which are so unlike my own, not huge, but square shoulders. She looked like a little kid in our family pictures while I was in high school. I just couldn’t believe just how tiny she was. She didn’t look like she could possibly be the mom.

One thing I will never forget about my mom is how fast she could walk. When she was working at Kmart, she was over a huge department. When we would go over to take her breaks with her, she was really hard to keep up with. She was walking, but we practically had to run to keep up with her. Talk about power walking, my mom was an expert at it. If we showed up for her break and she was getting something for a customer, or to stock the shelves…well, good luck trying to catch her.. She was a woman on a mission, and you were going to have to run to let her know you were there.

Of course, time, knee problems, and age have take their toll now, and mom can no longer walk so fast. She still gets around pretty well, but the days of the power walk are over for her. It’s funny that in our minds we still think we could do it…at least for a while, but in reality, we don’t realize the ability is gone until it is long gone, and then we can only look back sadly, and wish we could get those days back…somehow.

Today was my grandson, Josh’s last regular track meet. He has enjoyed track so much, and he is very good at it. He has long legs and they are very strong. Josh had entered the 400 Meter Run, the 4 X 100 Meter Relay, and the 200 Meter Run. The day was beautiful, after a cool, rainy start. The meet was running very smoothly, and the time for Josh’s first race, the 400 Meter Run, quickly arrived. This was a race we all felt Josh would do well in, because he had always seemed to need a little distance to get up to speed.

Josh was to run in the outside lane…the one that toward the end, can be quickly caught up to by the inside lane. The gun sounded, and it was very clear to me that Josh got a great start in this race. There was no hesitation at the sound of the gun…just a smooth take off. I was excited by that in itself, because as we all know, the take off is very important.

Around the first turn, Josh was still in the lead…in fact he was quickly pulling away from the other runners. Then he got to that point…at about 100 meters, where he gets up to speed. At that point, he took off like a rocket. People around his mom, my daughter, Corrie started saying, “Look at that kid!!! Look at him!!” They were stunned. And we…were, totally hyper with excitement!!

Josh has been running in Middle School Track for two years now, and while he placed quite well in the races, he had not taken first place yet. We wanted it for him so badly. He really, really wanted it. We knew he had it in him. And this race just might be that race.

The race continued like that right up to the end. I could hardly breathe, I was just so excited. Here was my grandson, so far out ahead of the rest of the runners that they weren’t even in sight of him. Everyone was so excited!! The man standing next to my daughter, Corrie asked, “Which runner is yours?” Corrie proudly exclaimed, “The one in first!!” The man said, “Wow!!” She was so proud!! We all were!!

The pictures Josh’s brother, my grandson Chris took, said it all. There are no other runners in the picture. That is because Josh never lost the lead. He was the only runner in the pictures, because he had left all the others in the dust!! He was like a rocket, and they simply couldn’t compete with that. I’m so proud of my grandson, Josh’s first 1st place win…and in a tough, long race…the 400 Meter Run!! Josh ran the race in 1.07 seconds. Way to go Josh!! I’m so proud of you!!

Kindergarten…it’s such a precious time. Your little one is starting school and so much is changing, so fast. They are going to school and discovering who they are and who they might like to be. They get a chance to try different things and to see if they might have the coordination…or learn coordination. Most kindergarten kids, aren’t especially coordinated, but sometimes they are.

At this age, a lot of their track meet is held in the gym, where they do skill tests that have little to do with track, but everything to do with balance and coordination. Still, it can be funny, to watch these little first time jumpers. rope climbers, runners, etc. Their little legs will barely take them over the lowest rung on the high jump. They are doing their best to figure out how to get over the bar without falling on their face. And speaking of faces, their level of concentration shows so clearly on their faces.

At 5 years old, my granddaughter Shai, who will tell you to this day that PE isn’t her favorite class, was already pretty convinced that track would not be her sport…if there was ever to be a sport that would be her favorite. She never did like running, or even jump rope as I recall. She is too much of a girly girl to want to do PE. Still, she did her best, and even if it never won her a first place ribbon, it won her first place in this picture…as far as her mom, my daughter, Amy is concerned. Amy told me that this picture is one of her very favorite pictures of Shai. “She just looked so cute!”, Amy would tell me. And she was so right. Shai was a cute little girl…a little out of her element, but it was the trying that captured your interest.

It is the level of concentration that is most telling in how successful my granddaughter will be in her life. Shai can do anyhing she sets her mind to. She is a bit stubborn like her grandma, and yet I believe that it will be that tubbornness that will carry her to success in whatever she chooses to do in her life. Like my granddaughter, I too was very stubborn, and in fact still am. I hate to lose, and I will keep trying until I win. That is what I expect my granddaughter will be like too. Still, the choice will be hers. She will have to choose to put that stubbornness to good use…to be so stubborn that she will stay with a thing until she masters it. I believe she will do just that.

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