Leah basically has an entire week of birthday festivities, which have only just begun. Since I opted not to do the big family party everyone wants to see her throughout the week. It actually works out nicely because we get to spend one on one time with everyone and really get to enjoy their company.
The extravaganza was slated to start last Saturday, the day before her birthday. She was going to have her little friends over for a party. I wound up having to reschedule for the following weekend because Leah came down with a fever on Thursday night, and by Friday evening it was still creeping up. She was sad, but I was so proud of how resilient and adaptable she is. When I told her that we would still have the party, just on a different day her response was, “Well, okay!” I just love her.
She also had another activity planned for Saturday morning, and we decided to go ahead with that one. This was a gift from my mom and stepdad to Leah, and it was the chance to ride a horse. Leah’s obsession with the My Little Ponies has piqued her interest in horses and she has been talking about them and learning everything she can for months. Since we live out in the country she is constantly getting excited when she sees a horse out the car window, but she had never seen one up close.
My mom picked us up, after her own riding lesson, and brought us to this beautiful stable that is literally two minutes away. They are super casual there and are on “barn time”, so we didn’t mind that the girl who was giving Leah a lesson was still working with another girl. We wandered around, exploring the stables and chatting with other people who were milling around. Leah met a couple of horses and a barn cat. Then it was her turn. She got a helmet on and we went to a round paddock. She was slightly nervous as my mom lifted her onto the horse, but once her stirrups were adjusted she was completely a natural! She rode around for at least 20 minutes with a huge, content grin on her face. She even let go and took the reins after a while and still was completely comfortable up there. She looked as though she was supposed to be doing this.
After watching the video of her ride that my mom took, my stepdad turned to me and said, “She really loved that! Man, this is going to cost me a fortune!” While I try not to ever ask my parents for financial assistance, I am so very appreciative of the fact that they gave Leah this opportunity that I would not have been able to afford myself. I could tell just by the look on her face that this will lead to a life-long love for my daughter, one that she very much deserves.