This week-end Will and I were in Lafayette for a horse show. The more I watch him ride and show the more I see the pure joy this sport brings to him. He is calm, focused and above all full of joy when he's at the barn and/or on Hollis' back. From what I've seen thus far, this is a predominantly female sport. I saw one other boy at the horse show on Saturday and yet that is the furthest concern from Will's mind. I remember the first time we went to the barn to pick up Campbell from a camp she was attending and Will asked "mom, why didn't you sign me up for this camp?" I gave him a quick response regarding the fact that it was ALL girls at the camp. To which he came back with "SO!?!" From that day forward the boy has been consumed with horseback riding!
Will hoped to get his first blue ribbon in this horse show but that was not to be... he came home with 3rd, 4th, and 5th place ribbons. I was a little disappointed for him but the entire way home he talked nonstop about how two months ago he would have been terrified to trot x's and now he was doing it and how two months ago he would never have dreamed of cantering and now he's doing that too. About half way home it hit me... it's NOT about the ribbons! Oh sure being a champion is great and what he strives for but just as importantly in that horse show he gained confidence, responsibility and of course pure and radiant joy!
As a mom of a child that often struggles with appropriate social behavior and skills, I am often one of Will's hardest critics. Luckily, the amazing trainers at Sommerview where he rides are the first to tell me how much they love Will and how fun he is to be around! A comment was made Saturday that he was going to make the best boyfriend and husband one day... So tonight I am thankful for the way riding has filled my boy's heart with joy. I am thankful for the kind words of others about my sweet son and am thankful for the opportunity to take a break from being the "bad cop" mom and being able to brag on my son that is such a special part of our family. I hope one day he is a champion at a horse show but until then I'm content with him being a champion of our family! Thanks Brittany (who I totally did not get a picture of Saturday:(, Emily and Catie for your kindness, patience and dedication to my kids and all the kids that ride at Sommerview... You all rock and I am thankful for you!!! Oh and am also thankful for Hollis and the amazing place this horse holds in Will's heart!