September 21, 2002 - Saturday
Last year when we went to the local town fair/fest in the next town over, Harry watched the ponies for a long time, but we had no thought of pursuing the pony rides offered by the local 4-H group. This year Harry was again interested in the ponies and, on a whim, I pointed out that other kids were riding them. I figured there'd be little chance that Harry would be comfortable riding, but thought that if he wanted to be bold I wouldn't mind a bit.
"I wanted to the pony," he said after a slight pause for contemplation. I didn't believe him, really, but he said it again. So, after telling his mother the same thing a couple of several, she got in line with him and waited for, perhaps, five minutes before asking Harry one more time, paying the $4, and going into the ring. From there it was what we'd have expected. Up close, Harry got nervous and we got our money back.
But, that wasn't it. After leaving the horse area Harry started saying again that he wanted to ride the ponies. What were we to do? I tried explaining that he'd made a decision and that we couldn't just go back because he changed his mind again. And so, we walked around the fair for a good fifteen minutes with Harry insisting that he did want to ride the ponies. Finally, we took another turn by the paddock area and since there was no line, I took Harry in again. And what to you know? Harry let me put him on the pony and went for the two loop ride. He looked a little nervous when the pony started moving, rolling Harry around his back, but I was right there the whole way and quickly expressed pride. Harry achieved a modest smile. He was never entirely comfortable, but that's fine. He did it after all and I think afterward he knew that it was an accomplishment.