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Playing Cowboy

“Playing cowboy is simply not done these days. … It’s all right for kids to play Indian maidens, mainly because Disney says so. Indian maidens were sensitive to the environment. Cowboys walked in the house with cow stuff on their boots. Indian maidens communed with wildlife. Cowboys shot varmints. Indian maidens ate wild hickory nuts. Cowboys had buffalo breath.”
– Charles Memminger, columnist

As a child, I played cowboy. You bet your sweet bippy I did. I cantered a path around our house on my little stick horse making snorting sounds and whinnying while performing flying lead changes. Did you ever try to make a stick horse rear up? It’s impossible. I tried. You end up hitting your chin. Tying a stick horse is also unsatisfactory because they inevitably slide down and end up hanging from the reins looking more like a castoff cane than a gallant stick-steed. Oh, but I loved my stick horse.

It’s not respectable for an adult to go trotting around on a pretend horse making sounds like you’ve got black lung or something. People will think you are funny in the head — unless you are with a child. I can’t wait to gallop to the mailbox on stick horses with my young one(s). I have no shame. We’ll be Pony Express riders off to our next post with our shoelaces flying and the dogs chasing behind. We’ll even shout super-cool things like, “Hi-ho Silver away!” and then sing the theme song to Bonanza. Maybe we can use twigs to make Z-slashes in the air before barreling down the driveway. (You can mix all that cowboy stuff up if you’re pretending, okay?)

Saturday is our first IMPACT adoption class and I have to tell you that we are so excited. We can’t wait to be full-time parents and to be part of our child’s adventures. Lately, I’ve made lists of all the things I can’t wait to do as a parent.

First order of business: play cowboy.

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