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Thursday, October 10, 2013

One of those moments

I had high hopes that Aspen would pull through, that she wouldn't let her usual tendency to be fearful override her interest in something this exciting. I talked with her about it beforehand and told her she would be able to choose to try it or not. I wouldn't force her.

We got there and walked around with our friends for a little while. It was beautiful weather and everyone was having a wonderful time. We weren't sure where we were going, but eventually we found ourselves in the right spot. We had overcome the first hurtle and I braced myself for the next one.

The wait was long and exhausting for the kids, but at least no one wandered off or got hurt. Finally, it was our turn. I wasn't sure what to expect; Aspen sometimes gets really committed to something in theory, but when it comes to the reality of it, she crumples.

I watched in amazement as the cowgirl lifted Aspen off the ground and settled her into the saddle. I wasn't even anywhere near her. She was unsure for a second, but I made my way to her side and smiled at her. She appeared to regain her confidence.

The pony initially refused to move an inch since we had interrupted her snack. But after some clucking and a little shove in the haunches, we were on our way. Aspen showed signs of losing her cool so I gave her my finger to hold while showing her how to hold the horn of the saddle with her other hand. After a minute I asked if I could let go, if she could ride without holding my hand. She agreed and I watched her ride that pony like a pro.

Adorable Mr. T tipping his hat to the ladies, with Aspen BEAMING at the edge of the frame.
She was smiling and laughing and shouting and waving and joking and having one of the most wonderful experiences of her entire life. And so was I. I was so overcome with emotion while watching her do something that just a few weeks ago would have been too overwhelming. She even trotted a few paces on that fat little pony (named Hannah Montana, by the way).

When I asked Aspen about it later, she said it was pretty good. She said she was a little scared of the bouncing (trotting) but that she just scooted herself right back into the saddle instead of falling off. I kept telling her how happy I was for her.

It was one of those moments when I felt my heart swelling. I felt the tears in my eyes as I experienced this with my extremely timid daughter. As those two crazy kids rode off into the sunset on their ponies, I felt overwhelmed with joy. Joy that we get to grow and change and improve every day. Joy that we get to share these moments. I looked forward to telling Kev about it the entire day. He was just as amazed as I was.

Way to go, Aspen. We're so proud of you (almost proud enough to spend $800 to get you your very own pony (wink wink kidding)).

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