After the flying wrapping paper settled, we headed to the beach with a caravan of friends.
A few months ago, Kirsti handed me this small piece of notebook paper:
Kirsten's 9th Birthday List:
hand pensol sharpaner
preeschool garbej can (for her classroom in our basement)
close for American girl doll's doll (mini-Kirsten)
a bike with handol brake
It was a peak inside my spirited girl's mind...I felt like I'd just been handed a present myself!
Children keep life so full of refreshing ideas.
As I discussed the list with Brent, it was obvious that we could make a few of her dreams come true...but hmmm, a horse? We've been saying no to a dog for years. How did 'a horse' make it onto her list? Kirsten is growing very mature these days, but I love that she's still young and innocent enough to dream bigger than she knows is possible. I hope the logical side of her brain doesn't catch up too quickly. Her robust imagination balances me out in a beautiful way.
Brent and I decided that perhaps a little pony ride at the local park district farm would be sufficient. But then just a couple of weeks before Kirsten's birthday, Brent contacted a woman at our church that we hadn't seen in awhile. As they talked about a variety of unrelated topics, he discovered that she cares for an elderly man who owns horses just 30 minutes from our house...and she generously offered to have our kids come over not just for a five minute ride, but to learn to ride...as often as their hearts (and our schedule) could handle this summer.
So we spent a Friday morning back in June up close and personal with horses...feeding, petting, grooming, saddling, and riding. All the kids were all smiles. Kirsten's horse was even white. After trotting around with a guide for a lap or two, the older ones bravely took the reigns and shared a few very memorable moments of mentally trusting and bonding with and leading another one of God's great creations. I imagine it felt as scary and as glorious as parenting does sometimes.
<I'll never forget Cienna's continuous gleeful giggle the entire time she was mounted on the saddle...my once nervous-about-trying-nearly-anything child was bold and beautiful and bubbly trotting around the arena.>
<we might as well try for a group shot once in a while>
As parents, we are so thankful for our loving Heavenly Father's tender mercies whose inspiration helped us make impossible (but worthwhile) birthday wishes come true. And a BIG thank you to our dear friend!
We love you, Kirsten, and feel so lucky to be your parents! You add such grace and adventure and style to our family. For the third time since summer solstice I say, "I can't imagine life without you!!"