Baby on the Way
I’ve been sitting by the phone, waiting for Brita to call. Her mare is about to foal – or at least I think that’s the correct terminology. Anyway, a baby horse is expected any day now. I’m a city kid and I’ve never seen the birthing process – not one that involves a horse. But this birth has even more significance. When the baby is only hours old the boys from Oxbow Academy will have an opportunity to “imprint” the little one. They’ll run their hands over its tiny body, feeling its ears, inside its mouth, lifting the little hoofs and gently stroking the baby. Horse people say imprinting is a valuable tool because it teaches the horse not to be afraid of being handled by humans. Therapists say imprinting is important for a whole list of different reasons. It helps the boys learn about trust, about good touch and bad touch, about the vulnerability of a smaller living thing under their hands. So we’re all waiting, watching, and hoping. This is the kind of experience our boys can’t get anywhere else. Hopefully, it’s one they will never forget. One that will help them on their journey toward healing.