This is me in an heirloom christening dress. This was a prompt for a writing assignment I completed several years ago. I came across the story and thought you might enjoy reading it.
After the story I have included a couple of photos of Mimi (her racing name is Prized Spirit) that Martin took when we visited on February 3.
It came in the mail. The package was battered and spattered with colourful stamps, postage marks, and customs labels. She knew it was the outfit that her great grandfather-in-law wore for his christening. It was hand-made, delicate and fragile, and weighed almost nothing. Barb imagined it was crafted from angels’ wings and was sure it was going to disintegrate as she touched it. The responsibility of taking care of this heirloom made Barb’s knees buckle, which were already stressed with the weight of worry from the impending birth of her baby.
Her first experience with a baby hadn’t been good. When she was fifteen, her class participated in a baby project. Barb and the realistic baby were both crying before they got home. It kept the whole family up all night with its crying and went through seven diapers in four hours. It was always hungry, needed three baths in one day, and demanded non-stop attention. Barb forgot to fill out the logbook most of the time which added to the teacher’s conviction that the baby had been neglected at least, or had been traumatized at worst.
Fifteen years later she was on maternity leave and missing her colleagues at Canadian Tire, where she’d established a solid reputation as a car mechanic.
There were almost illegible written instructions enclosed in the package. Barb deciphered that the outfit must be hand-washed in lukewarm water, soap—not detergent, not too many suds, rinsed well, and laid flat to dry.
She sat down just before she swooned from the stress.
As it was, she couldn’t sleep. If she lay on her back the mound rising up in front of her, which was as large as her exercise ball, scared her half to death. If she lay on her left side, her heartbeat reverberated throughout her whole body. If she lay on her right side facing Brad, she felt nauseous. And, to make matters worse, Brad gurgled, gasped, and grunted all night.
Barb thought this pregnancy thing wasn’t working, and wondered if they’d made a terrible mistake.
She tried to imagine what the baby would look like in the christening outfit. Barb’s eyes sloped downwards at a sharp angle from her large nose, she had no chin, and she was pigeon-toed. Brad’s elephantine ears stuck out like wing mirrors, and his large fat hands were covered in more hair than his head.
The baby kicked and she felt a twinge. Barb was convinced that the stress over the christening outfit was bringing on the first contraction. She was right. The baby was born the next day.
After a long labour, Barb gazed at her baby with his beautiful face, full head of dark hair, small delicate ears, elegant hands, and perfect feet, and all her worries floated away on angels’ wings. She immersed herself in the joys of motherhood without another thought of the christening outfit, which had been returned to its battered mailing box. She had something much more important and precious to fuss over.
Vicky Earle Copyright 2024
We were fortunate to visit Mimi (racing name Prized Spirit) a few days ago and Martin took a few photos.
She is a large two-year-old (all racehorses have an official birthday of January 1st, but she won't actually turn two years old until April 15).
Her father is an Ontario sire called Point of Entry who won $ 2.5 million during his racing career.
Her mother is Prized Bourbon. Her racing career wasn't brilliant but she won about $180,000. (Don't forget the expenses associated with training and caring for a racehorse are high!).
You'll notice that she is resting her left hind leg with the tip of her hoof touching the ground. This means that she's feeling relaxed.
She might appear a bit 'ribby' but she's carrying good weight. She's a young horse and growing fast.
This is me having a chat with Mimi.
She has a nice nature and was quite happy to greet all the visitors who suddenly descended on her to see how she was doing,
Since our winter is relatively mild and the footing outside is pretty good, she will be starting her preliminary training about now.
We were told she's getting bored, even though she gets to be outside a lot! Racehorses like to work!
We're looking forward to watching her progress this racing season.
We are grateful to Foxcroft Racing for giving us the opportunity to partner with them in the ownership of Mimi.
And we're very appreciative of Banach Stables for being her trainer. They have such a great team! This is Darwin Banach checking Mimi over. He liked what he saw!
For more updates, check out this blog!
And please share.
PS I am working on the first draft of Book 6 of the Meg Sheppard Mystery Series.