This week I have decided to share a bit of my new book. My goal for writing has always been to try and tell a story with some underlying lesson or tip on life. My characters could be real people with real problems. I have read many types of books in my life some filled with perfect characters in perfect lives and others with with not so perfect lives - who knows I may write both but for now the series I am working on is full of characters who have real life problems inside not so perfect lives.
Some more broken than the others but they are no different from you or me. For those of you who have read Finding the good - you have already met Jackie, Dusty and Levi. These characters continue their story along with some new characters. Below is a conversation with Levi and Kendy, an eleven year old daughter of a friend. Kendy's parents are going through a divorce and this conversation between her and Levi portrays a child's thoughts on the situation.
“Do you think my mom is going to move?” Kendy asked.
Levi stiffened a bit. “Did she tell you she was moving?
Kendy dropped her head. “I hear her talking at night.” She said. “She thinks I’m asleep. But some nights I can’t.”
“You know she…”
She stopped walking and grabbed his arm causing him to stop talking. “You can’t say anything to make me feel better.” Her eyes held a sadness. She shrugged. “I know there is nothing I can do if she decides to move. I don’t want to go. I want to stay here. But I don’t want to stay with just my dad.”
Levi didn’t know what to say to her. He just stared.
“I know I didn’t make it easy for her. But that was before I got to hang out with you and all the horses. I mean I always loved horses in books and stuff but I never got to see one. Now I want to keep learning to ride and show and....” She lowered her head a bit. “Now it’s too late to be good. It's my fault.”
Levi dropped to one knee and hooked her chin with his thumb. He clenched his teeth and took a deep breath trying to keep his own emotions in check as she lifted her head revealing large glistening tears. “None of this is your fault. None of it.” He swallowed again. She nodded but looked away and shrugged.
“Maybe not but I could have helped her. I heard her cry at night and at first I just thought she was sad because she missed my dad. I got angry because she was the one who left.”
Levi listened wondering why she chose now to share this with him.
“Then I started to pay attention to the things that were happening and I know she did what she thought was best but now it’s too late.”
Levi put his hands gently on her shoulders. “You listen to me.” He said sternly. “It is never too late. Each experience in life is an opportunity to learn and grow. Do we get it wrong sometimes? Heck yes but we learn from it. The situation we are put in sometimes isn’t always in our control but we can control what we take out of it. Do you understand?”
She nodded. “I think so.”
"Remember when we worked with the horses and I told you there was an easy way and a hard way?" He paused and she wiped at her face with the sleeve of her hoodie then nodded. "Just like the horses sometimes we don't always choose the easy way, even if it is the most logical for us. But if we consistently ask the same things then eventually we get to where we need to be." He gave a sigh not sure if that was something an eleven year old would follow or not.
She seemed to ponder it for a moment then gave him a weak smile. "So does that make me the horse or the trainer?"
"Now that's a great question." He gave her shoulder a squeeze and stood. “There are horses in Australia?”
“I guess so.” She shrugged.
“There you go. It’s not too late.” He smiled at her.
She gave him a week smile back. “Do you think if I’m really good for now on she might stay.”
“Listen, I think whatever your mom decides you need to understand. But it wouldn’t hurt to try. She could probably use some understanding, I’m sure this isn’t an easy decision for her either.”
Kendy nodded wiping the rest of the tears from her eyes.
“Ready to go watch Jag?” He stood and she slipped her hand inside his as they walked toward the ring.
I hope you enjoyed this little sneak peak. So Levi has a lot of things going on in his life but he continuously takes time to teach Kendy all there is to know about horses and his calm and effective way of training. Just by being there and taking a little of his time to share his knowledge and include a child instead of being too busy and casting her aside - he is unintentionally helping her through her world. Kindness and understanding is a choice - one this world could use more of.