Clyde flipped his hat onto one of the posts of the large bed that he shared with his wife. It had been an especially eventful day today. Not as productive as he normally liked for the family to be, but they had a good excuse for taking so long to get to the actual work. He smiled at Sue, who giggled. "What?" he asked, incredulous.
She smiled back at him, her light blue eyes still shining after all these years. "You still have some frosting on your face."
He licked his lips with his tongue, and eventually found a small dry morsel that was sweet to the taste. Clyde's sense of taste had been tested for the first time in years today. "And here I thought you were the only sweet thing in my life." She nuzzled her snout into his gray mane.
"Not just me, sweetie. Don't forget your girls."
He nuzzled her in return, but found himself staring into space. His girls. Today, little Pinkie had gotten her cutie mark. How long would it be until Inky or Blinky got theirs? Clyde knew just how difficult and joyless rock farming was. Neither him nor his wife minded it, but did they really expect them to stay with them forever? Pinkie would almost certainly want to take her newly discovered ability and run off to the city with it. And Inky had been spending any time away from the rock fields listening to the radio. The look in her eyes wasn't just one of simple enjoyment. She had the look of a pony who was finding something more. One day, Inky would find that something more, and she would pursue it. Off of the farm. Clyde felt a lump in his throat as he fought off something welling up inside him. "They're growing up too fast."
Sue wrapped her forelegs around his neck and hugged him tightly. "They're growing up just fine, honey."
He sniffed. "I just wish there was something more I could do for them. Maybe I could have-" He was cut off as his wife loosened the embrace so that she could look him in the eyes, her own filled with tears.
"You have done everything for this family, Clyde. You've had opportunities to run off and seek your fortune on your own, or you could have run off to the city and lived it up like some playcolt. Instead, you dug your hooves into the earth and made sure that we were taken care of. You built this whole farm with your own hooves, and you've kept us safe for all these years." The tears that had welled up in her eyes slid down her cheeks. "We're lucky to have you in our lives."
Clyde smiled at the compliment and shook his head, shaking loose the moisture in his own eyes. "No," he said, smiling. "I'm the lucky one." He leaned forward and kissed his mare softly on the lips. After they broke the kiss, they simultaneously sighed with contentment. Clyde turned towards the bedroom door and proceeded to walk out.
"Where are you going? Aren't you coming to bed?"
He turned, a smile on his face. "Just going to check on my babies. There's something I want to say to them that I don't say enough."