Saturday, October 07, 2006

A Horse Of A Different Color 

Rocking horse (Oak, Provincal stain) from Kloter Farms

Even beyond the car dealership inventory sales, in our nexk of the woods, at least, the universe of commerce and community comes out for Columbus Day in droves. The fall foliage is at its peak, so the buying season is on its cusp before New England hunkers down for winter. Greenhouses hold last-gasp hayride festivals; orchards feature this year's last apples and the first, best picks of the pumpkin patch.

So, with little to do on the first of a three day weekend and a holy host of deck and playstructure ideas to test out in full, we headed across the Connecticut border to Kloter Farms for their annual kid-friendly fall festival.

Imagine, if you will, a dozen or more playstructures, ready to sell, all filled with children; a clown making balloon animals; a pumpkin painting station; free barbecue and cookies and cider for all. Imagine just the right amount of kids to keep things feeling festive, but not enough to cause lines or conflict at the swings or facepainting stations. Imagine a two-car steam train running through it all, steam whistling and bell clanging just often enough to avoid a wait, a sneaky, snaky way to pull parents across the totality of backlot inventory while their wee ones hoot and holler.

Imagine, too, a family prepared for the full brunt of their children's antisocial behavior -- this is, after all, a kid who threw a full-bore tantrum at the local playground just yesterday because we were trying to teach her to pump the swings instead of just pushing her forever -- only to discover that something about the crisp fall weather and the part atmosphere had coincided to create the perfect behavior for the perfect day.

When we asked her to move on to another activity, she did so willingly. It was like having someone else's kid, or the kid we always wished for, or maybe just the kid we thought we had, once, before the long struggle began.

Maybe it's an anomaly. Maybe it's a turning point. Either way, it was worthy of reward, and we gave willingly.

Willow was in such rare form -- manageable, happy, and willing to take direction -- we bought her the showroom rocking horse we'd been eyeing for ages. Sure, someday soon the rockers will come down on her sister's foot. But the more kids you have, the more precious and rare those perfect days, where everyone is in the right spirits, will come along. And for a long while, now, we've been starting to think we might be plumb out of days.

After a quick trip back to the warehouse to switch it out for the golden oak finish instead of the provincal featured above, it just fit in our trunk. Looks great in our living room, too, in that hole between the barstools and the oversized chair. Winter will come to the window behind it; surely some stress will mark the majority of our days. But today will ride forever, into the sunset of our memories. Finally, after years of waiting for the right moment, kid and horse fill the perfect spot in our hearts, our house, our home.

posted by boyhowdy | 8:49 PM |


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