To you, March Madness is all about basketball. To me, it’s all about being a mom. I work for a CBS affiliate. CBS airs March Madness so I don’t have news broadcasts Thursday or Friday nights for 2 weeks in March. Heaven. Why? Because I get to pick up my kids from school. That’s a huge deal to a mom who gets to pick them up about 4 times a year. Hey, it’s the little things in life. So on this day, the official kick off to March Madness, I picked my kids up from school at 3:30. We sat down to dinner at 6:30. And they were in bed at 7:49. For perspective, on a normal day we haven’t even sat down to eat at 7:49! I was actually feeling like a good mom on this night… until the phone rang. It was 9:30 and on the other end of the line was my husband. “I need your help. There’s a heifer calving and I need you to hold the light.”


 SHIIIIIIIIIT!!!!!! My “good mom bubble” just burst. I now have to wake both kids and put them in the car so I can drive over to the corrals and hold a damn light for my husband to see a heifer. But when we pulled up, I could tell he was anxious.  I shined the light over to a black heifer with half a calf hanging half out of her. Darrin was frantic to pull the calf before both animals died.


At the sight of this, my mind shifted away from the irritation that I had to wake up my babies from a sound slumber. I now was pulling for another mother, hoping and praying she would get to see her baby make it through the night. It was a struggle.







At one point, Darrin had to hold on to the calf’s leg as the heifer tried to get up and run away.  After several tries, Darrin was finally able to get the calf jack under the heifer’s hips and start cranking the calf out.










The mother fought to get away, but Darrin fought harder for her unborn calf. In the end, he won.










The calf came free from her pelvis, dropping to the cold, hard, dirt as happily as we would lay our newborn on a soft fleece blanket. At that point, Darrin did what he always does. 

20130321-223002.jpgMakes sure the calf is breathing. Makes sure the mother can see her baby.








 And I turned to make sure my babies were okay as well. One, staring wide eyed at the miracle of life.










The other, tucked safely beneath his fleece blanket in the back of my car.


March Madness continues Friday.  I can only hope to be a better mother on that day.  But one thing is for sure.  Darrin will still be a damn good rancher.










About Wendy D

I was born in San Francisco and ended up marrying a rancher in Reno, Nevada. I have a big city job anchoring the 5 o’clock news but come home to the country where my husband’s family has ranched for 5 generations.

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