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First scratch off his bucket list

By Richie Ann Ashcraft

We had a jam-packed fun-filled weekend. We couldn't have scheduled one more bit of fun into it even if we had more energy.

A highlight of the weekend was a trip to the "punkin patch" as Robin called it. If you haven't been to Studt's, ya just gotta go. Seriously, it is hands-down the best fall attraction in the Grand Valley — kid friendly, family friendly, and whole bunch of fun.

We knew there were pony rides there and told Marek so he'd have something to look forward too. Marek is obsessed with horses and those who are lucky enough to ride them.

When we ride in the car, he's always on a keen lookout for equine, yelling "Mommeee, there's a RED horse, seeeeee. Daddeee, seeee that BLUE HORSE!!!!!!"

He asks to ride a horse just about every single day. We don't live on a farm and we don't really have too many cowboy friends, so his opportunities to actually ride a horse have been pretty next to nil.

A pony was just going to have to do. And it did.

Lookit that happy Buzz face.

But then he saw Bert. Bert, who Marek named the brown polka dot horse, was a dream come true. He was drudging away on a lead giving child after child a ride around the pumpkin patch. The wait was at least a half and hour. But, no way, Marek was not going to budge from his spot in line to ride a 'real' horse. I realized that he'd been waiting his whole 3-year-old life to ride a horse and he didn't care if he had to wait all day.

He took this horse riding business serious. You'd think he'd be up on Bert laughing his head off. Nope, he was inspecting the saddle. He was reaching gingerly in front of him to stroke brown spot horse's mane. And, he was enjoying the view from his high perch.

Last night when I tucked him in he said "Mommmee, I rode a real horse today."

Yes you did son, yes you did.


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It’s so fun sharing such experiences with your kids. I’m so happy for Marek. Precious.

Oh man.  That is the sweetest story.  Love this photo of him too.

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