Being a Momma is hard. Really hard. It's hard to keep up with housework, it's hard to try to be patient, it's hard to homeschool, it's hard to teach right from wrong.
But I discovered today what is even harder than any of those things.
Today I had to tell my sweet girls that their newest best friend, Cowboy, had died.
When we went out on Sunday for them to ride him, we could tell he wasn't feeling well. He was lying in his stall instead of eating, and acting like he was in pain. It didn't take long to realize he was colicking, though something more might have been going on. We likely won't ever know for sure. A couple of visits to the vet didn't help much, and he lived only a couple more days.
Breaking that news to my daughters is high on the list of Most Awful Parenting Moments. They only had him for two months, but with such a sweet little horse, that was plenty of time for them to love him dearly. No Momma ever wants to break her daughters' hearts, and that was the job I got to do today.
Chloe reacted in typical Chloe fashion. She shut down, refused to talk or even let me see her face. She spent a good long while lying on my bed crying quietly with me beside her. As I type tonight, she's drawing pictures of him, the coping strategy she turns to most often. Cora was far more outwardly emotional... and that was hard. The look in her little eyes, the quiver of her chin, those big, huge tears. Four is too young to learn how it feels to lose a friend.
And he was an amazing little friend. No little horse could have a sweeter disposition, so patient and gentle and calm. He put up with everything - having his mane and tail brushed and brushed and brushed, having a nine year old try to teach him how to turn on the forehand or learn to lunge him. He took it all in stride. You just don't find horses like that every day, and especially not miniature horses.
I'm so sad for them. He opened up a new world for them, a world I want to see them continue enjoying. Not to say we'll never find another great horse, but he really was special. I hate that such a wonderful experience for them was so short-lived, that they couldn't have enjoyed him for longer. I hate that such a wonderful little horse's life ended much too soon.