Saturday, December 13, 2008

High Octane Mule on the Dad-Trail

Of all the trails a man rides in this world, the Dad-trail ain't for sissies. Show-horses or pleasure boats need not apply. The Dad-trail is a technical and treacherous ascent through some ledges that appear impossible to navigate from below. Falling down on the Dad-trail in some places could mean a plunge to the boulder-strewn valley below. For this steep pull, you better have a solid, High-Octane Mule under saddle that knows where to put its feet. And you better have a steady heart that can stand having its fear of heights tickled.

Raising kids, especially girl-kids, terrifies the alert parent. Unless you live in a cave, the strident din of exploitative and seductive messages aimed at our daughters is unavoidable. Add that to the busy noise of well meaning experts and you face an importunate quest. So take this daughter of mine. She's the older of two girl-kids, and she has three brothers. At the age of 13, we are only two thirds up the Dad-trail. AND she is AMAZING! Such hyperbolic platitude is all the descriptive power I can muster to lay bare the swell I feel in my heart for her. I've used all the Dad-tools I know to help her get a proper start in life: Godly love, music, curiosity and the desire for learning, firm discipline, horse-sense, and chores without the possibility of parole.

Imagine the surge of systemic shock that burned through my veins this past week when I learned that Child Protective Services had taken her from the middle of a test in class for an unexpected interview. Some anonymous soul had filed a complaint with the State. After some very personal questions about the people who live in my home, he finally asked my sweet girl-kid if she ever felt afraid around me.

"Pshshshaw! You kiddin'? If you saw the places we go together on mules, you'd never ask that question!" Apparently we passed the official inquisition with flying colors...

(These photos were taken today on the Haslem trail. My 13 year old girl-kid skinned this 2 year old mule all by her self.)


















6 comments:

BonBon said...

Kailee is awesome to ride those trails.

I am sorry that you had a run in with the state like that. That can be a nightmare.

Give all the kids a hug for me and keep sharing all your great adventures.

Huck's mama said...

Oh, I thought maybe they came after you when they saw those photos of you trying to kill her on that fancy mule ride... You better hide the evidence, quick!

Huck's mama said...

P.S... that's coming from Huck Finns mama...I have had to hide a little evidence myself from time to time.

Wenderful in Colorado said...

It's a good thing she kicked azzzzzz with her answers! Shame on them. Shame on the "Anoymous" complainer! Make them come forward and put them on a mule and then make the mule run down those scary canyons with no handles!

Iditadad said...

Since everyone is remembering belts on your dad's birthday - back in the good old days when it was okay to discipline (love) and train up a child to be obedient, responsible citizens, I am amazed at how our children's parenting experiences are giving them a new respect for their own parents. It is never easy raising a family, we can only do our best, and it helps to realize that we all have need of our Savior and Redeemer. WoW

OUR CHAOTIC CLAN said...

Paul, You're one of the best dad's there are!! What fun memories you are creating with your darling kids. They are so lucky. Your daughter is beautiful! What a blast. I'm so impressed!
I second what Wendy said about putting ole Anonymous on a Mule, for the ride of their life!!. I've joked about people calling the state on me, but never has it happened to anyone I care about. I'm sorry about that. I just remember "What goes around, comes around" and that brings me some peace. Take care. I love hearing your fun stories!!!