Tuesday, July 6, 2010


As far as Danny is concerned, neither Hollywood nor the North Pole has anything on Cottonwood Falls, Kansas. We discovered this a few nights ago when we attended our first-ever rodeo. Danny came face-to-face with a real cowboy, one that just happens to be a relative. The sight put him in a state of awe, which is something Tim and I will remember for a long time.

It was no surprise that Danny was excited to go to the rodeo, as were the rest of the kids. I also figured that Danny would be fairly enthusiastic to meet Adrian, my cousin the cowboy. But when we first saw him ride up on horseback, Danny was speechless with awe. He tentatively stretched out his hand to touch greatness, and the horse, and eventually answered some of Adrian's questions - in the shyest voice I've ever heard Danny use.

After a few of his events, Adrian had time to hang with us in the bleachers, where Danny screwed up his courage enough to sit by him and then spontaneously hug him. I also overheard him proclaim, "I want to grow up to be a cowboy, too!" This was all in between more adoring gazes. It was so precious, and Adrian was the most gracious recipient. (The above photo shows Danny with his hero and his hero's son, Paxton, who literally gave Danny the shirt off his back. Hence the almost-matching rodeo shirts.)

We lucked out and had a positively beautiful evening, especially considering it was July in Kansas. As a result, we stayed for the whole evening, primarily so that the kids could get their promised horseback rides when it was over. Needless to say, this was a big hit.

As much as Danny enjoyed the rodeo, I think Clare was equally engaged. While she doesn't share the same appreciation forf cowboys, she was extremely focused on the events themselves and asked several questions to make sure she got the details right for each one. (Thanks for your patient responses, Abbey!) Tim and I couldn't help giggling at her enthusiasm, but it also gave me a bit of insight into what she's like as a student.

All in all it was a fun and new experience, and one that I suspect we will repeat at some point. Giddyap!

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