“Sometimes we’re tested not to show our weaknesses, but to discover our strengths.” This quote speaks to the challenges and obstacles that Ella Zonneveld, a […]
May is a special month with an entire day dedicated to the hard-working, resilient women in our lives we call mothers. My name is Chaney Larsen, and I am blessed to have the title of momma to two amazing little boys. Charlie Russell is my ornery, but sweet four year old, and Waylon Weldon is just three months old.
I think God gave me boys because he knew I couldn’t handle being a girl mom. I’m not so good at fixing hair or the many things a girl mom can do. I also grew up with four cowboys that helped prepare me for the many adventures of being a boy mom. Their names might be familiar to some of you, my dad, Craig Latham, and the Etbauer brothers, Robert, Danny, and Billy.
I was fortunate to get to travel with them on several occasions during my youth. The most memorable trip was probably the plane ride to Greeley, CO when I was about eight years old. We had lots of snacks on board and let’s just say pop tarts and plane rides don’t mix. Billy held the throw up bag while I got sicker than a dog.
Some of the greatest times of my childhood was on the rodeo trail with this crew, and I hope to raise my boys in the same fashion as they rode broncs – to give it my all, be genuine, and ultimately help them be the best they can be.
The rodeo cowboy has multiple layers and many of them go unseen during the span of a rodeo athletes career. They carry the weight on their shoulders to make the next dime and keep up their craft, but it’s their other half, their wives, that are the backbone of the family – working hard at the home place, taking care of the children, and ultimately doing all of the things a single parent would do while their husbands are on the road the majority of the year chasing that gold buckle dream. Hang in there mommas, you’re doing an outstanding job and it’s all worth it. (Thanks mom for everything you did for my sister and I.)
My husband, Tyrel Larsen, has been working on his dream for a while now in the saddle bronc riding. He’s found success on all levels with winning the collegiate title in 2012 and making it to his first NFR in 2015. Due to injuries, it’s been put on hold the last few years, and this year has definitely been a strange one with the given circumstances of the global pandemic. However, there is always good with the bad, and it has allowed rodeo athletes to be home and spend quality time with their families.
“A person’s own family is, without a doubt, the greatest wealth that we will ever possess. Treasure every moment and take the time to ensure that the story you create is one that you will be proud of and look back on with a huge smile.” I know from a wife and mother’s perspective, this time together is everything and means so much, especially with a newborn.
Our son, Waylon, was born on February 28th this year, right before things took a turn with the virus. His journey into this world was extraordinary, and bless his heart, he has been a little warrior from the start. At my 18 week ultrasound, on my husband and I’s 4th anniversary, we received the news that our unborn son has a condition called spina bifida, a term we had never heard before.
Spina bifida is when the spinal cord develops outside the baby’s body and can cause neurological and physical handicaps, and in Waylon’s case, with the size of the lesion a possibility of not being able to walk. The doctor told us that most parents terminate the pregnancy when they are given this diagnosis, but my husband and I never gave it one thought. If God blessed us with this baby we were going to do everything in our power to give him the best life possible.
Johns Hopkins hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, specializes in fetal surgery to repair the opening while the baby is still in the womb. Truly incredible. Thankfully both Waylon and I passed all of the tests to be able to do surgery giving him a better chance of having a brighter outcome, and the surgery took place on December 10th. He was only 25 weeks old.
Today, Waylon is doing phenomenally well, there is still no movement in his right leg, but we know that he is a warrior with cowboy grit and determination. Through the grace of God our little boy is healthy and here with us, and one day we know he will do great things.