Over the years homeschooling I learned that above any other duty to my children, I needed to be their advocate. I spent years seeking out opportunities for them to try new things, to experience opportunities, and above all to develop their interests. Corey loved horses. He always did from the time he was very small. Not having horses, not knowing anything really about them and having no plans to relocate and run a farm, (ha!) it was important to find places and people who could foster this interest within him.
I found the most amazing places and people who would teach, nurture and mentor him through the years. He began at age 8 volunteering on an Equestrian Therapy Farm called, Whispers of Hope in Texas. Daily he worked M-Sat 8-12 in the barn and then he rode. When we moved to Mississippi we found another similar farm and then moving to Illinois I found Alison Lewis, a fellow homeschooler. She was the most pivotal influence in his life outside his family for the last 8 years. She taught him so much. She built him up, knocked him down a peg when he needed it and pushed him by taking him under her wing and trusting him to do so much more than folks would think a kid can do. The debt I have to her, can never be paid. If she ever needs a kidney one day, or bone marrow - she need only call!
Today talking to Corey, away at school, knee deep in work, and stress I could not have been more proud of him. He has been looking for a place to ride there. A place to volunteer, work in a barn, to be around what he loves and to get into a saddle. He searched, he found leads and he began following up on them.
I am so proud that he knows how to do this for himself now. He knows how to do it, because I modeled it for him, and handed him the reigns. What we do as mothers - MATTERS. I didn't do everything for him, but I showed him how easy it is (really it is) to find people, good people, to work with. He learned to do it for himself and no longer needed me to take the lead some years ago.
He wants to ride because he loves it. Because it is a part of him. He loves the physical work, the sweat, the horses. He doesn't like couch potato life, he longs to be outdoors. He recognizes it's good for his health, his temperament, and his life to do what he loves. He has a great spirit of volunteerism. Which, here again, is priority we focused on all our life.
I am very proud of him. I am so thankful for the people who have meant so much to him. And I'm not ashamed to admit that it is moments like these where I do feel God patting me on the back, and saying, "Well done, my daughter."
I have given my life to my children, and to see it bear fruit, to see direct moments like these where I can see how my work and sacrifice meant something and stood the test of time. wow. I feel overwhelmed in this confirmation.
Every year, every sacrifice, every thing was worth it. It matters. Motherhood, matters.