I grew up in Little Rock and never was a big animal aficionado. We had dogs, but that was all, and even then I never really liked them. I mean, they were okay, but they barked, and sometimes they bit! (Technically ours never bit me, but others did, so I've never really trusted any dog.)
Lowell is the same. Just not an animal person. Perfect right? But this is where God's sense of humor comes into play. Of course, Joshua LOVES, LOVES, LOVES animals. Always has. When he was a toddler, he would go right up to any animal and snuggle up. When the Little Rock Zoo opened the petting zoo (which I think has since closed), he was the first person in the gate. Very literally. We have a picture of him from a Little Rock newspaper being the first zoo patron in the petting zoo.
We tried to have a dog. It was not a success and even Joshua recognized that. So we're all good and animal free. And then we moved to Kansas.
Joshua has found a new love. We thought volunteer work would be good for him so once a week, he is going out to a farm and mucking stalls. He thinks it's as fun as Disney World. And he is good at it. I've watched him a couple of times and it kind of freaks me out, but he is just as calm and laid back as ever. Not that horses in general freak me out, but he is just hanging in the stall with them, changing out their water and cleaning and they are chewing on his hair - which does look a lot like hay, so it's no fault of their own that they make this mistake. But, yeah, chewing on his hair. And he is totally okay with a big 'ole horse biting his hair, and clothes too (we have a certain jacket that he has to wear now in order to be sure ALL of his clothes don't have horse bitten holes in them).
Last week, the lady who runs the farm said, "we need to get you up on a horse sometime soon." He was SOOO excited and planning when we could get out there for him to learn to ride. That was exactly one week ago. In one week, we've gone from so excited to learn how to ride a horse to wanting to be a bull rider. Yep, you read that ride. Riding BULLS. (I must interject here, mainly for his Mimi, that he has heard nothing but emphatic "NO"s on this one, so no need to worry just yet!) He has talked to the farm hand, who rides bulls, and he is learning all about how to hang on, how to maintain just the right posture, and how you should lean your body when the bull leans forward, "'cause if he turns just right, that horn'll get 'ya!" (And yes, as a mom, I do want to throw up when he says those things.)
So today when he was at the farm, the farm hand gave him tickets to the rodeo. He and Lowell spent all evening in Kansas City at said rodeo, watching horse riding and sheep riding (by little 4-year-olds)and of course, the big daddy of the rodeo, the bull riding. And he just walked in the door, more hyped up than ever about getting on a bull. "'Cause it's not just hanging on, you have to learn how to calm the bull too, so you can stay on longer." What a crazy oxymoron, "calm bull". I'm not falling for that, no way.
Definitely thinking we need to learn to ride a horse first. Or maybe even a sheep.