I’m a stubborn, stubborn woman. My rancher, so aptly named “Big Guy” by my nephew several years ago, would say that that wasn’t near enough stubborn to truly describe me. I admit it. I can be a bonehead. I don’t give up and I HATE being wrong. This has made for some very trying times in my life– and the majority of the blame for these times rests squarely on my shoulders. There is a positive side, though; I have definitely mellowed through the years.
My kids are just as stubborn as me. When we had “ours” she didn’t want to take a bath one evening. I would put her in the tub, she would scream; pull her out of the tub, she would smile. I was showing the Big Guy this and how setting her in and pulling her up out of the water could produce instant tears or smiles. I pointed out that this attitude “must have come from her father’s side of the family.” Great guy that he is (and smart), he only responded “It isn’t stubbornness or hardheadedness, it is just a complete intolerance for other peoples’ BS.” I laughed. He is so good at telling it like it is. I would like to place all the blame for “ours” being so stubborn on the Big Guy, but my two eldest are just like her and regrettably, I am the only common denominator. His are really not stubborn at all. Only mine and ours. Hmmmm. That’s pretty revealing.
So with that background in mind, it shouldn’t be too hard to believe that there can be trying times. We are trailing towards the tail end of our calving now, but earlier this spring while we were in the thick of things, I had to remind myself not to choke on my pride. It took me two days to convince myself of this, all the while coughing and hacking, but I eventually stopped the choking. During the calving season, nights are short, days are long, weather is cold, tempers are hot… you get the picture. I don’t remember the exact event that sent me to the house fuming that the Big Guy could just do it himself, but to the house I went with my pride sticking thickly in my throat. I’m not a fighter, neither is he, so there was no yelling or screaming at each other before I went– I just went. To tell the truth, I don’t even know if he even knew that I went, which greatly annoys me that I didn’t make a bigger impact, but he figured it out– especially after the two days of silent treatment and two days of no outside help. This killed me more than him as I LOVE helping him outside. Plus, the kids were all home from school so he wasn’t impacted by having to do it all himself anyway. He had help. Thus, I don’t think he missed me at all. This made my pride swell a little more and choke off more of my air. I did glorify in it a little, though, as it was cold and blowing and I sat typing inside the warm house and was watching from the window– all the while silently wishing I was outside helping.
By the time the sun showed its beautiful face in a classic spring way, my pride had turned to embarrassment so while still swallowing that stubborn pride down, to the barn I skulked. He didn’t say a thing, only handed me a pitchfork to help clean up after the most recent batch of new calves. We spent most of the morning working in silence until I finally asked about all I had missed during those two days. Then asked if he missed my help, even a little. The Big Guy just smiled and said it was easier doing things with help. It takes courage to admit when you are wrong, but it takes way more courage to be just a ranch wife…