Today I am sending out a giant happy birthday wish to Josh (or Joshy as Savannah calls him). He turns 23! Looking back, it is so hard to believe that he could have made it this far, and it gives me such hope for Evan and Braden's future.
Tom and I were married when Josh was just 9 1/2 years old, and he and Tom had been bachelor's together, without need of a woman, for many years, thank you very much! Needless to say, Josh and I had many power struggles over the years which weren't always very pretty. I think it boiled down to a line from a favorite TV show of mine from the early '90's about a dinosaur family. He made sure to let me know, over and over again back then, that I was "NOT the Mama!!!" - especially during his teenage years. However, growing pains aside, he has truly grown into one of my favorite people and I cannot imagine not having him in my life - even if he DOES dog me when he comes home for visits, or invites me to lunch and then expects me to pay ;-) (You know I'm NEVER going to let you off on that one!
In honor of his birthday, I thought I'd blog about my favorite "Joshism," the day he rounded up one of our wayward cows, Oscar (as in, "the Grouch"). I think he was about 13 or 14 at the time.
The year after we bought our home, which sits on a 2-acre lot in what could still be classified as "the country," Tom thought it would be a great idea to get horses and/or cows, remembering with rose-tinted glasses times from his childhood. I tried to remind him that "real life" doesn't always happen like we remembered , but to no avail. Soon after, a family from the church we were attending moved to Colorado and couldn't take their farm animals with them. We scooped up 3 of their young steers with the intent of raising them for beef. Great idea, right? And we got them for a really good price too. In hindsight, we probably could have gotten them to pay US to take them off their hands, considering that Oscar was possessed.
Anyway, we spent one long, hard month building the fence and fixing the holes around our pasture, and then we had the 3 "adorable" cows delivered. And they really were cute too, for about the first 12 hours. It soon became apparent that the other two really were sweet and tame, but they liked to follow the lead of Oscar, who could beat David Copperfield in being able to escape any prison you set up to hold him. I swear we spent half of our life during that time chasing cows around the yard, the neighbors' yard, and once or twice even on the other side of town. It got to be that I didn't even want to come home because I knew what awaited me: the sight of 2 of the cows hanging out in the front yard, with Oscar nowhere to be seen.
One day, as Tom tells it, he came home from work around dusk. As he was sitting in our kitchen looking out the window, when all of a sudden he saw Oscar maniacally tearing past, eyes bugged out, tongue lolling. He moved over to the window to take a closer look and jumped back after seeing another maniacal blur, dressed head to toe in army camoflauge, face makeup included.
"What the *#$( !! " he thought to himself...
He discovered that the first blur was of course Oscar, but the second was Josh, looking more than a little like a character out of Rambo. He had come home from school to find the steers, once again, missing in action. After rounding up the first two, he tried many many times to sneak up on Oscar so that he could herd him in the right direction, but every time the stupid steer caught sight of him, he'd take off again. They were not exactly friends by this point, and I guess that something inside his little teenage brain just snapped. He came in the house, dressed up in Tom's Army uniform (he was still in the Reserves at the time), covered his face in his camo makeup, and went back out on the prowl.
Poor Oscar was so freaked out by this strange creature screaming and chasing him, he ran straight past the house and actually jumped the fence back INTO the pasture, bypassing the gate, to escape him.
Mission accomplished - HOO-AH!