Kyle went back to horseback riding for the second time last night. The first time was not a fluke and he did equally as well, if not better, the second week. We got there early. (Yeah, us). He was so calm and quiet while we sat in the waiting area of the patio for a full fifteen minutes. This was in stark contrast to his high level of activity at home.
Once again, the mount was quick, smooth, and flawless. Again, Kyle was happy and comfortable and even well balanced on the horse. The ride went very well. Leslie added some extra challenges to his ride and he responded nicely by making small attempts at pulling back on the reins when requested to stop the horse. Next week I will bring a camera that can take good night shots. The sight of Kyle on that tall white (former) show horse is something else.
I assumed this ride would go well since the first one did. But you never know. That first ride could have been a fluke though I didn’t really think so. It seems it was just setting Kyle’s new norm for horseback riding. Given Kyle’s struggles of the last riding season and in his life in general until last April, this success is extremely sweet.
I was talking to Leslie again about the mount and how I was a little surprised the first week how easy it seemed for Kyle and how smoothly it went. She looked at me and said, “I expect it.”
“I expect it!” Aren’t those powerful words when it comes to our interactions with our kids? Sometimes that’s hard when they have a history or pattern of doing something one way and/or of having difficulty with something. We all want to think positive. Postitive expectations are very, very powerful. But it’s not always easy to have them when you are with a person for a long time. It’s easy to fall in the pattern of guarding or lowering your expectations for fear of disappointment.
The key and challenge is to have expectations but not to be too rigid or attached. Expectations are an attitude. We can be expecting Kyle to have difficulty mounting and have ourselves braced for that OR we can expect Kyle to mount smoothly and be braced for that. If he needs extra support, we switch gears and go with what’s needed.
Is it possible to have expectations and not be disappointed if things go differently? Ah, something to look at and work toward on this journey. But in the meantime, a little disappointment is not fatal (unless of course, you expected your parachute to open while base jumping, and it didn’t.)
When Leslie said “I expect it” what I heard was “I believe in him”. Powerful stuff.
“If you expect nothing, you can never be disappointed.
Apart from a few starry-eyed poets or monks living on a mountaintop somewhere, however, we all have expectations. We not only have them, we need them. They fuel our dreams, our hopes, and our lives like some super-caffeinated energy drink.”
~~Tonya Hurley, Author