Our Stage 2 Group at our church, Firewheel Bible Fellowship, had another outing last night, this time to the Mesquite Rodeo. Aiden was ecstatic about the opportunity to wear his country get-up and see the cowboys do their stuff.
When we first arrived, Aiden just stared in wide-eyed wonder, his ears covered against the loud noise of the announcers. Friends would talk to him, we would ask him questions, but he just stared silently, taking it all in. But then about 20 minutes into the rodeo, it was as if he suddenly woke up. He began talking and laughing, pointing at the cowboys and getting excited about all the happenings. We watched the cowboys ride bucking broncos, rope calves, and ride bulls. We watched cowgirls race around barrels. We even got to see one of the rodeo clowns jump a motorcycle over a truck and livestock trailer.
The most amusing part of the evening was during the calf rustle. All the kids 8 and under are invited out to chase a few calves--the first to catch one wins. We asked Aiden if he wanted to participate and he said yes, so Brad walked him out to the arena floor. He lined up with the rest of the kiddos, Brad told him what to do, and when they said "Go!" he raced after the other kids toward the calves. But about 30 feet into his run, the crowd parted and Aiden got a good look at the 2 black calves running toward him, and he did a quick about-face and ran head-long into another little girl, knocked her down, and kept running, right back to his daddy. He was crying, terrified by the two calves! The bad mother I am, I was in the stands laughing with all of our friends--I don't think I've ever seen Aiden run quite that fast! It was pretty funny to see him go from brave and bragging about how he was going to catch a calf one minute, and then high-tail it the other direction to his daddy the next, saying 'I want my mommy!' the whole way back to his seat.
After the calf rustling fiasco, we enjoyed the rest of the rodeo, munching on cotton candy and popcorn, which quickly restored Aiden's spirits. I think he was almost pleased to see the calves get roughed up and thrown down during the calf roping part of the evening--a little retribution for the scare they gave him! After the rodeo, Aiden enjoyed a pony ride, content to yell "Giddyee-up little doggy!" and "Yee haw!" as his pony sedately walked the ring. Vanity almost earned Aiden a trip to the ER--he let go of the saddle horn to adjust his hat during a pause in the ride and almost tumbled off backwards when his pony started up again! I could just imagine an evening involving stitches and x-rays, but luckily he caught himself in time and held on tightly after that!
We had a great time and Aiden is already asking when he can go back to the rodeo. Next time, he says he wants to be one of the kids doing "mutton busting" (where the kiddos ride a sheep as if it is a bull), but I can only imagine how quickly he'd go running back to mommy once they put him on the back of the sheep!