IMG_5118That little girl dressed in pink from head to toe is my daughter. My only daughter. Most days I am caught up in the world of muddy, smelly boys and feel vastly outnumbered.

Last night my family was watching a movie with a bit of boy-humor (read: burping and farting). I glanced at my daughter to see if she was laughing as uproariously as her brothers. Nope. She had both hands over hear ears, waiting for the dumb part of the movie to end and return to the storyline. I couldn’t help but laugh; she is my salvation in this house full of testosterone.  I am so grateful to have one little girl.

This weekend was a whirlwind of activity. Basketball games, Christmas light parades, creating gingerbread houses and processing cattle. She was a trooper through it all. She sat with me in the stands and cheered for her brothers. Giggled at the floats (and candy!) at the parade. Spent hours decorating her gingerbread house (her brothers created gingerbread forts and catapults!).

Yesterday we processed cattle. It was a cloudy, cold and muddy day. The boys decided to play inside, but my daughter bundled up and came out to the corral with us. We were all busy, a couple of us at the chute and my husband bringing cattle into the alley. When I walked around the chute to refill the vaccine syringe I saw my daughter, with rattle paddle in hand, doing her best to keep the cows walking down the alley. IMG_1458 - Version 2

These were older cows that definitely knew the routine of walking down the alley and into the chute. So, yes, we could have gotten through the day without my daughter’s help. But, you know what? She stuck with it until the job was done. I was so proud of her for wanting to help and enjoying the work, despite the dreary weather.

(Please forgive the poor quality camera-phone photo, I was covered in muck and not about to get out my real camera.)

My daughter is also six years old and in the first grade. I volunteer at my children’s school and in my daughter’s class today I found myself struggling to maintain my composure. Like all of you, I have been horrified by the story of the school shooting in Connecticut. I have held all of my children a little tighter, wishing I could protect them from any harm. Counting my blessings and praying for all of those families in Connecticut. Focusing on my family this holiday season and not fretting about the loose ends I hoped to complete by Christmas.

I wish the same for all of you: a holiday filled with family and friends.