Saturday, May 2, 2015

The Best Laid Plans

   My husband and I decided earlier this spring that as soon as we were done with schoolwork, we would try to do fun family "adventures" at least 2-3 times every month. We want our kids to learn more about the world outside their little bubbles, expose them to new things, and help them to learn from new experiences. This weekend's adventure: The Celebration of the Horse just 15 minutes from our house.
   Our kids have been around horses a couple of times, but in very short chunks, like when we went to the Journey of Hope 4 Autism several times a little over a year ago. It was somewhat terrifying for our kids then, because they had never been near horses, and the sweet, free-roaming goat, Karla, had tiny horns that my kids thought might as well have been meat cleavers. We thought that now they would be old enough to enjoy the event.
   Our oldest as immediately in love with the horse shows happening and would have chosen to stand there all day watching, while our middle two seemed to know nothing was near them except porta-potties and food trucks, and the youngest was disturbed by everything anywhere near him, and could handle nothing but to be held by Mama- and a simple hip-hold wouldn't do. Oh no. He needed both my arms around him at all times or he would squeal. I did, however, manage to get all four interested in the very brief "leadline" class, mostly because they were fascinated to see kids their size and smaller riding horses. QUICK! GET A PICTURE SO WE CAN PRETEND THEY LIKED IT!

We finally gave up and left when all but the oldest were in inconsolable tears. We tried. We made it 45 minutes. We DID manage to catch an English Pleasure Class with a gaited pony. My husband had never seen such a thing(nor had the kids, obviously), and all but the 2-year-old were fascinated. Ignore the food allergy talk in the background. We were trying to figure out if the drink the toddler was begging for was safe for him. 

After we left the festival, we gave ourselves a treat of iced lattes while we kept the kids busy looking at stuff at Target so we could enjoy our drinks in mostly-quiet, and I got the afternoon off from making lunch with a stop at our favorite allergy-friendly spot, Noodles & Co

So I guess the day wasn't a total loss, but I had these visions of grandeur for our learning adventures. Thoughts of summer neatly recorded with pictures and child-written descriptions of their favorite parts of the days compiled in a scrapbook for us to look fondly back on and remember the things we learned. Aside from our 8-year-old who held back disappointed tears as we left less than an hour into our adventure, I'm pretty sure any memories of the day would center around lunch and the kerchief-wearing pitbull we passed on the way out. Here's to hoping the next adventure is better. Or maybe I'm just setting myself up for a very disappointing summer. 

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