A fresh perspective on life from little people

There’s nothing like some casual encounters with children to give you a fresh perspective on life.

Little people can leave a big impression.

I was pitching in at the concession stand at the Steubenville Saddle Club at its July show when I was reminded of this.

Even though I have a horse, I’m not a show person, preferring to be outside the ring not in it, so I enjoy hanging out at the saddle club grounds, watching the classes and helping out in the kitchen, too.

The saddle club in Richmond is a place I frequented during my youth, always marveling and admiring the horses and the people who were lucky enough to have them and participate in pleasure classes all dressed up in their fancy show clothes or in the contest classes competing in barrel races and other timed events.

So I was in the kitchen helping serve the staples that keep show participants, volunteers and spectators happy — taco in a bag, regular hot dogs and chili dogs, chicken salad sandwiches, haluski, etc., all those things that taste a hundred times better for some reason when they come out of a concession stand, probably because somebody else has made them.

Duhhhh.

And that’s when she came in, this little cowgirl, in her jeans, boots and cowgirl shirt, hair braided in pigtails, beautiful eyes, not even as tall as the counter she was approaching and super duper cute. Adorable with a capital A.

Some kids you just want to instantly hug. She fell in this category big time.

I struck up a conversation with this enthusiastic show participant.

We talked horses, what classes she was involved in, the name of the horse she was riding, how the horse was doing, how she was doing.

And I was blown away by it all, at first amused and then in awe, especially when she shared with me that for all of her life — a-l-l of her life — she had always, always, always wanted to ride horses.

Wow, I thought to myself. A little person who knows exactly what she wants.

The admission, though, begged the question: “Exactly how old are you?” I asked her.

“I’m 6,” she said with authority.

Wow, I thought to myself again, this time unable to hold back a big smile as I admired her ambition and level of commitment.

All I was doing at age 6 was regretting the first grade.

Then she told me another age-related bombshell.

She’d been taking riding lessons since she was 3.

I don’t know that I could have even spelled the word horse at that age much less learn to ride one.

By the time this little cowgirl left the concession stand, she had left behind quite an impression.

I think it’s a good thing when our lives cross paths with people way younger than we are, especially children who in their innocence and unworldliness exude great wisdom simply, sincerely.

Another little person in the under 8 category that I have the pleasure of encountering from time to time understands the power of prayer and that age is no barrier when it comes to having a conversation with God.

But she figured during one recent talk-to-God moment that the better the reception, the better the outcome.

She’d said her prayer alright, and she’d done so outdoors.

“That way God could hear me better,” she assured.

There’s nothing like some casual encounters with children to give you a fresh perspective on life.

(Kiaski, a resident of Richmond, is a staff columnist and community editor for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times. She can be contacted at jkiaski@heraldstaronline.com.)

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