They had to wait

This past year my husband has been working weekends at a local feed yard to give some of the horses he’s been riding experience around cattle. It’s a good deal for the horses and he loves riding pens. Win-win. Except for our boys this Christmas morning.

Christmas was on a Tuesday, and Monday evening management at the feed yard texted my husband and said he’s short of help because a few of the other guys are out sick, would he come in and help. He was all about it even though he wasn’t feeling 100 percent himself. "It’ll only be a couple hours and we’ll be out of there," he told me.

On Christmas Eve I had to work and he was at home with the boys. They went out to do some shopping and feed cattle. I’m suspicious he had a conversation or two with them about how important it is to take care of the animals before you worry about eating yourself. I know they need to be reminded of this because they just don’t remember we are entrusted with taking care of livestock once we take ownership.

The little one got up at 3 a.m., Christmas morning, and I think he wanted to sleep in his parents’ bed and not to wake me up to open gifts. He did eventually go back to sleep though. The oldest was up at a little after 7 a.m.

I did have to remind them once what the deal with the packages was—we were going to wait to open gifts when Dad got home. I turned on a Christmas movie on Netflix and it kept their attention for quite a while. After it was over I found another that kept them occupied for a little bit longer.

Later I had the bright idea to take photos of the boys in front of the decorated tree and gifts. This was no easy task. First, Fred the Corgi didn’t want any part in getting his picture taken. Second, the lighting was not the way I wanted it. And third, no one would look at the dang camera! You’d think as the children of a photographer they’d be trained. Not so much.

By 10:30 a.m., I’d nearly had enough, and so had they. I texted my husband and asked, “When are you going to be here?” A reply soon came, "headed to the barn." Then another, "Leaving the yard." He was finally in the house at nearly 11:30. I barely think he got his clothes changed before they started begging to rip into the packages. Christmas morning this year was a true test of patience for the boys and I.

But in the end it’s what’s best for the livestock. They still have to eat. They have to be cared for and tended to. The work never ends in a feed yard or on the farm or ranch. Presents will still be there when everyone is able to gather around to tear into them.

I sincerely hope everyone had a Merry Christmas, and may all your hopes and dreams come true in 2019!