The first thing you need to know is that 'Salina is horse mad. Which is a blessing and a curse...
A curse, as we live in a beachside town with room for a cat but no horse.
A blessing, as there is never any coersion needed to get her to visit relatives. My family has a myriad of horse opportunities available just WAITING for an enthusiastic child to take advantage. 'Salina loves to comply!
This last weekend, I have not been around Blogworld at all as we had another visit to the property. There was a party to attend, computer work to sort and, of course, a pony to ride.
My father loves animals, and any child that has enthusiasm towards doing something with animals is matched by him - and thus, a love affair was reignited, with 'Salina being offered a berth mustering yesterday morning. The only stipulation was she had to get herself up and ready in time.
(This differs in my childhood memories, as whether we were enthusiastic or not, we were woken by the cold washer method to take our place in the mustering team - but I digress)
With the sun, 'Salina rose and took her place around the breakfast table, wide awake and chattering away. She was absolutely STOKED, and I don't think she paused between then and when we collected her from the yards several hours later.
The pony she has to ride is "Bullseye" - half Shetland, half Shetland pony - very short and very smart. As the adage goes, a small horse has to travel twice as far - and thus, 'Salina and Bullseye travelled twice around two paddocks in that time, jigging along behind Grandpa, chattering happily, getting lost and then refinding herself often.
She was very keen to do more of the same - so I was a good mother, and returned home without my daughter while she works for the next few days.
Ah, child labour - when its done well, it feels like a holiday.
People commented on my last post that I have a good memory for my childhood - but I must admit, the memories formed from doing the same thing over and over and over again.
Christmas holidays were always like that. Every morning it was up early to breakfast, get your horse ready and be off in the truck by 7am. Every day was filled with mustering, droving, dipping, branding, needling, mothering, droving and getting home as the sun went down for a swim, a feast and a hard earned sleep - because tomorrow was another big day mustering.
I am not unhappy that my daughter will get a little of that this holidays - not (just) because of the child-free time I will have, but because it is a wonderful store of memories to draw from in life.