A few signs that you’re having a Ranch Kid Summer.
Summer was made for kids. Or maybe kids were made for summer. Perhaps summer brings out the kid in all of us? Whichever way you look at it, imagine you’re nine years old again and the weather’s hot. School is out. Popsicles are in stock. Your days are filled with horses and swimming and your calendar is full of junior rodeos. Here are a few other signs you’re having a Ranch Kid Summer.
Your primary modes of transportation are a “been there, done that” horse and a bicycle.
Never walk when you can ride, right? A growing cowboy or cowgirl can’t explore the ranch afootback all summer. Instead, you ride a horse that has roped more cattle than you can count and is going gray around the muzzle. Mom and Dad trust that old campaigner’s judgment more than they do yours, so they slide you a little more rein.
Or maybe you grab a bike, because riding a bike is the next best thing to having a driver’s license. Plus, you don’t have to worry about those pesky gas prices the grown-ups keep yapping about. Just don’t ride your bicycle up to your dad while he’s shoeing a horse that hasn’t yet been there, done that. Dad may not appreciate his horse’s ability to jump and kick with a front foot still on the hoof stand, especially if he’s clinching a nail and his kneecap is caught in the crossfire.
You know a lot about crawdads.
If you are a boy and live near a creek, pond, river or lake, you will soon learn more about crawdads than most biologists specializing in freshwater crustaceans. Girls are also interested in crawdads, but there is significantly more shrieking and dropping involved. You will learn by catching, picking up, turning over, inspecting, releasing, racing and eating crawdads. You can race and eat the same crawdad, but only in a certain order.
Your pockets are always full of tiny rubber bands.
If you are a horse-loving girl, you like to keep your horse’s mane and tail tightly braided at all times. To accomplish this goal, you stuff your jeans pockets with itty-bitty black rubber bands each morning. Most of these will be later found by your mother in the washing machine. Because while you take 3,871 rubber bands out to the pasture each morning, you only actually use six. Don’t let this stop you from stuffing your pockets with another 3,871 rubber bands the following morning.
You never go anywhere without a rope in your hand.
If the dog and your siblings aren’t head shy by the end of August, did you even have a Ranch Kid Summer? When the live targets get good at dodging or Mom hollers at you to knock it off, a sawhorse always comes in handy. Or a fence post, tree stump, large rock or five-gallon bucket. The more you throw that rope, the better you’ll get at catching stuff with it, so always pick one up when you walk past the porch. The best way to be a good cowboy is to start this summer.