I earned $200 editing lesson plans for Utah Educational Network. They sent me a check for $300. When I contacted Karen to correct the mistake, she said, “I just rounded up.” The comment started me thinking and I decided, for the most part, I really, really like rounding up.
Some of my most cherished childhood memories involve round ups. Dad had a knack for finding ranchers who needed help herding cows. We’d saddle the horses and spend a day moving cows from here to there, often through sagebrush, occasionally along roads, always adventuring. Lowing cattle, swirling dust, pungent poop……I loved every second of it. For the most part, the cows moved passively, docilely in the appointed direction but always (and this was the part I really loved), there was a maverick or two—a wily matron or a rebellious yearling—that had to “test the fences”, literally and figuratively. They’d hurl themselves through barb wire fences, bolt between trees, and balk at open gateways. I loved the challenge of taking them on, me and my horse vs. a thousand pounds of bovine bravado, each trying to outmatch, out run, out maneuver the other. Thinking like the cow, my horse and I worked almost seamlessly together, anticipating her moves, predicting and then preventing her shenanigans. It is almost amusing now, how proud I was of myself when I outwitted a cow—cows not being known for large degrees of intelligence—but I loved it. I truly did. Round ups. Awesome.
Rounding up numbers, rounding up cows, rounding up children, students, friends…… There is a lot to be said about rounding up. (But not too much—not to worry, the entry will not be that long!)
Rounding up children has a double meaning. This week we rounded up several children as they “tested the fences”, so to speak. Lance and I work almost seamlessly together, trying to predict and prevent shenanigans. Rounding up cows was much, MUCH more fun.
I think children (and adults) are also “rounded up” when events validate their efforts. We had some great validating events this week:
- Tanah won first place at the Region Drama competition in classical scenes with her presentation of a scene from Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night (Act III Scene I). I say that finally I have hard, fast evidence that she is a Drama Queen. She maintains that she won a medal, not a crown therefore she is a champion, not a queen. I say that winning first place was a crowning accomplishment therefore she is a drama queen. The debate continues. So does the drama……
- Clinton City Parks and Rec department called and asked Chick to come in for a job interview. He turned them down….because Roy City Parks and Rec had already offered him a job!!!! YEA!
- Chick is charging full speed ahead with his mission preparations. The dentist said he has 8 cavities that have to be filled and four wisdom teeth that must be removed. The doctor said that he has an inguinal hernia that must be repaired. I don’t know that the visits themselves were a rounding up experience for Chick but I suspect their bills will seem rounded up to me and I know the mission will be rounding up for him.
- Thursday a multi-unit apartment fire in Roy destroyed the home of the person who had been asked to speak in church today so, knowing that Lance is both willing and able, Brother Ropelato asked Lance to step in and give the talk. Both being asked to speak and speaking are rounding up experiences for Lance. And for good reasons; he gave a fabulous talk. “Keeping promises builds the integrity of my integrity.” It was a powerful message; ask him about it sometime.
- Sandy borrowed a bunch of dirty, dusty pint jars that I dug from the recesses of my storage room and then returned them sparkling clean. Not wanting to waste her efforts (and too lazy to have to clean them again myself later), I filled the jars with beans; 16 pints white beans, 40 pints black beans, and 16 pints pinto beans. Looking at row after row of filled jars is rounds out my food storage and rounds up my self esteem.
- Last week was more than a bit frenetic and, in the frenzy, I did not show up for the appointment I made to visit teach Koni so……she bought and brought me pizza. She rounded me up and the pizza rounded me out.
- Dark clouds of anger roiling round him, Miles joined me outside yesterday to prune berries and grapes. A pair of clippers and a few choice snips later, he was earnestly enjoying himself. “I like working, Mom,” he said. “The fun lasts. My friends might be playing video games right now and they think they are having fun but as soon as they are done, their fun is over. We are having fun right now and when we are done, we will have really done something.” Work, whether it is cow herding or hedge clipping, rounds up.
- Listening rounds up. My darling mother listened to me last night. No “you should” advice, no “so-and-so has it so much worse” comments, no “it is going to be okay” platitudes; just simple listening and loving. There are few things more validating that being truly listened to. Thanks Mom!
May you round up and be rounded up this week!