Our Sarah is one smart gal. Always the thinking one. Crafty, clever and in control.
For the past four years, Sarah and I have been making the 45 minute drive from our house to Strongsville for therapeutic riding at Camp Cheerful. We have written about it many times on this blog. I know better than to schedule anything else on a Saturday(including the Buddy Walk in Cleveland today) because she looks so forward to riding.
Most weeks are pure delight. Sarah has made so much progress in the past year. She is manuevering and trotting on her own and quite pleased with herself. This fall session we have a new instructor and she is ready to push Sarah a little. One way to do that is by having her ride on a faster horse.
So today we get there about ten minutes early. The instructor comes over and tells Sarah in her perkiest voice that she is going to be riding Jackie-O. As she walks away Sarah gives her that look, you know, the disgusted teenage girl look. The one that says, "Like h...e...double hockey sticks, am I riding that horse."
But she mounts without a complaint. Hmm.... So I watch for a minute or two and Sarah gives me the thumbs up. That's our cue that I can leave. Sometimes I go fill the gas tank or grab a coffee. Today, something told me I better stay put. So I sat in the car and read.
Sure enough. Forty minutes into the ride, just about time for the trotting to begin, I see a volunteer running for my car. "Sarah needs you, quick." I walk over to the big double doors with the gate, which has already been opened for my arrival. As I step into the ring, my foot sinks into the dry, dusty dirt. While quickly scanning for piles to avoid, I think to myself, "Good thing I'm wearing washable flip flops today." I'm not overly alarmed, as I had been previously warned by that look on Sarah's face there might be drama today.
Just as I glance up, I see Sarah slouch forward on the horse like she is about to faint. Oh, Lord have mercy. They have already removed her helmet and by this point she is surrounded by the instructor and many volunteers, all falling prey to her acting abilities. I look for Doug who has been with her since she started at this barn. He knows her well and he doesn't seem too ruffled. I take his cue. Just as I am about to tell her to "Cowgirl Up," rodeo lingo for get back up and get a move on, she takes her hand and brushes it across her forehead in great dramatic fashion and then begins to slide off the horse.
Quicker than quick, I see she is about to fall into the dry dirt. I leap forward and catch her under her arms as she goes limp like a ragdoll. I look at her and smile as I know exactly what is going on. Then I jokingly say " C'mon Sarah, are you kidding me? I have black seats in the car."
By now, I realize the damage has been done. She's off the horse, the young volunteers are traumatized, who knows what the instructor is thinking and there's only ten minutes left of the session. So I gently drag her just outside the barn. All eyes are on us now. She wants to sit, but I tell her we better go to the car. I go inside to get some wet paper towels to get the dirt off my hands before driving off. No sooner does Sarah see it, when she grabs it from my hand and proceeds to do this...
I had to grab the camera. Don't you just love the finger in the mouth?!!! Thinking...thinking...thinking..."How am I going to convince my mom that I need McDonald's for lunch." Sorry Sarah, I'm on to you girlfriend:)