When your dad's a cowboy, life is just a little bit different.
"Sleeping in" is not actually a thing because after 7 am you are "burning daylight." So you get up and groggily make your way to the kitchen only to realize that Dad has already fed the horses, mowed the yard, fixed the Kubota and swam the English Channel. But that still doesn't motivate you out of your sleepy stupor because you are 16 years old and have no desire to be up before 11.
When your dad's a cowboy, you don't just learn to ride horses, but you learn how to feed them, saddle them, vaccinate them and put their needs before yours. You learn that horses are not toys that are strictly there for your fun. And when you forget to clean out their water bucket, you learn that dad's being annoyed is not the only consequence that comes with that transgression.
When your dad's a cowboy, you find that any clothes that you want to keep clean will not stay that way no matter how hard you try. Just because you're about to go to the movies with your friends wearing a brand new pair of jeans doesn't mean you can't unload these 15 round bales "real quick."
Speaking of hauling hay, "It's cheaper than a gym membership."
When your dad's a cowboy, you learn to sacrifice yourself for the people you love. You see your dad consistently work long hours to give you opportunities at school and in life. You see him put away and save, but still manage to contribute to the collection every Sunday. He's given up the last dinner roll even though he knows you've already had 3 because that's just who he is.
When your dad's a cowboy, you learn that complaining does you absolutely no good because the work has to get done regardless. You can either talk about how much you hate moving horses and cows in the rain or you can bite your tongue and get it done. You learn that it takes less effort just to get it done.
When your dad's a cowboy, you find that you're always on the road going somewhere hauling a trailer behind you. You learn all his favorite music because he won't tolerate listening to Kanye or Mumford & Sons. When you stop at the gas station you know that his favorite snack is banana nut bread wrapped in seran wrap and you think it's gross- "Don't knock 'till you try it". He thinks it's weird when you get a Clif Bar and coconut water- "It's healthy Dad."
When your dad's a cowboy, you can be sure that he will be present in your life. He'll be at all your basketball games (where you sit the bench most the time), FFA banquets, rodeos and school events. He'll call you once a week while you're away at college to see if you're doing okay and encourage you to keep working hard. He'll be your rock through hard times and comedic relief when you need it.
When your dad's a cowboy, you hope that you make him proud every day because that's exactly what he does for you.