Over the last two years, I’ve watched a mother-son relationship in the pasture with great interest.

When we first met, Mama and her yearling colt Brio were new to the pasture. And let me tell you, he stuck to his mother like glue. The two were inseparable.

She was his safe haven, his teacher, and his all round go-to person- er… I meant to say, go-to horse.

As he got older, he started to venture farther into the pasture. She watched over him as any cautious mother would, always pulling him back to her when his worldly explorations caused him to stray too far.

Good mothers are like that.

Parenting a son can be a challenge. You must allow him freedom to go into the world, and provide security at the same time.

Roots and wings, as the saying goes.

I don’t mean to suggest a gender bias, because of course this applies to girls as well. But somehow it’s just different with boys.

Ask any mother of a son.

This summer I noticed a change with Mama and her boy. Brio had made a friend – a brown and white Paint. The two hung out together, played raucous games of keep away and chase, and started to act like rebellious teenagers.

Every so often Mama would get to spend time with her boy, but usually he was with his friend.

It happens.

Kids and horses grow up and go on with their lives.

As it should be.

But my heart issues a little sigh of understanding for Mama when I see her grazing by herself. She’s done her job well, helping Brio grow into a confident young horse.

And yes, he still returns to spend time with his mother.

He’s a good son.

But mostly he’s making his own way in the world of the pasture.

As it should be.


We recently had a remarkable event at our house – three generations of mothers and sons together at one time. I regret that we didn’t get a picture, but it was wonderful.

Oh the stories we told about those roots and wings!