I’m interrupting the nutrition thread for a special post in honor of Mother’s Day. As a vet, I’ve been privileged to witness the miracle of life in creatures great and small, from horses and cows to cats and chickens and mice. As a child around the age of 5, I vividly remember being in the barn watching a Holstein calf be born. As with all birth, it was messy.The cow, breathing heavily and groaning, pushed repeatedly until we saw two yellow hooves, and then a nose. Soon the calf’s head appeared, and with a few more pushes, the shoulders were out, and then the rest of the body. The cow was on her feet shortly thereafter, vigorously licking her newborn. Within thirty minutes, this perfect black and white calf, with wet curly hair and gangly legs, managed to get her feet under her and stand.
As a 5-year-old girl, I suppose I should have been grossed out by this event. I wasn’t. Nothing about the barn ever grossed me out. I have my parents to thank for choosing caregivers who lived on a dairy farm. Spending time there as a child shaped my choices as an adolescent and a young adult.
My favorite memory of my mom relates to animals. I was a horse crazy girl, and I desperately wanted my own horse. This wasn’t in the cards for our family, but my parents did sign me up for riding lessons, which I loved. After I had been riding for a while, my mom joined me. She usually rode a 17-hand (as in, very tall) retired Thoroughbred named Victor. One evening we were having our lesson in the indoor arena. Our instructor used an alarm clock to keep track of time. As Victor and my mom made the turn at the far end of the arena, the alarm went off. Victor was suddenly back in the gate, and with three or four great leaps, he reached the other end of the arena, with my mom hanging on for dear life! He came to his senses and stopped in his tracks, thankfully for my mom.
It’s still a funny story for us, 30 years later. I feel blessed to be able to re-create this memory with my daughter, Maia. This Mother’s Day, I’ll be spending time with my mom and my daughter, eating a delicious brunch at a local restaurant. How will you honor your mom on Sunday? What are your favorite memories of your mom?