My Girl, Vienne, looked like a beautiful dainty flower and she really truly was. But, amazingly, she found a way to balance that fragility and beauty with a passion for adventure and thrills. She surprised us with her immediate love for fast and high rides, for fun animals, for adventurous outdoor play...you name it. I don't remember any adventure or event that she didn't like. She truly was such a blast to be with. Over her four years, we were able to take her to many pumpkin farms with rides and animals, sledding, boat rides, Oaks Amusement Park, Sesame Place, Ocean City Boardwalk amusement park, downtown Portland waterfront events, The Enchanted Forest, The Zoo, The Children's Museum, local fairs...and always the park a few times a week. I am glad that we were able to offer her so many fun opportunities to enjoy.
(fall 2010 ~ a pumpkin farm while visiting Mark's family in Washington)
(fall 2010 ~ pumpkin farm roller coaster. She is in the second car back from the front, with Daddy. She was the only girl on the ride and all the boys kept encouraging her to raise her arms up. On the last round, she finally did!)
(Christmas 2010, Cle Elum, WA ~ LOVED the snow and was out in it every waking moment of the day, everyday)
(Christmas 2010, Cle Elum WA ~ sledding at Lake Cle Elum again and again. She loved it.)
(summer 2011, Dino Exhibit at the Zoo ~ a dream come true for her. Unfortunately, it freaked her little girlfriend, Emily, out. Emily's mama, Kristel, had to run Emily out of the exhibit. But, then our girl had to visit every single dinosaur. I remember that Mark and I were not so impressed - we did think it was too scary for most little kids. Not ours. But most. ;) )
(see, she's even waving at this guy. I remember clearly, that after waving, she turned to us and said "he's cute!".....ummm...OK)
(T-Rex ~ a major favorite)
(summer 2011, Enchanted Forest ~ I was so impressed that she jumped right into this boat, without hesitation, and drove it all over the pool)
(summer 2011, Enchanted Forest ~ happy to ride all by herself while her two other girlfriends rode together in another car! Crazy)
(summer 2011, Ocean City, NJ ~ boardwalk fun with cousins, Luke and Ellie. Vienne wanted to go on EVERY ride. Of course)
(summer 2011, Sesame Place in Langhorne, PA ~ a full day of super fun at this amusement park while visiting Mark's east coast family)
(water park fun at Sesame Place)
(she was the smallest kid to ride on these rides...but they had life vests for her and she was allowed. She wanted to go again and again.)
(October 2011, Pumpkin Farm ~ her first pony ride...she was a natural and totally addicted! This pony's name was Abby. This was Vienne's favorite picture of herself, which she kept in her room, by her bed.)
(We fondly remember how she was waiting so patiently yet excitedly in line to ride the ponies. When she was second in line, the little girl in front of her started to freak out when it came her turn. This girl was older but eventually had to give up her turn because she was too nervous. The moment the attendant looked at V and asked if she was ready, she plowed through the gate without hesitation! The lady had to run after her to keep up and direct Vienne where to go. We were cracking up over her enthusiasm and bravery.)
(going to the park was a weekend family ritual. Oftentimes, it was a special date for Mark and Vienne. Vienne loved the swings. "Higher! Higher!" she would always gleefully shout.)
(Vienne surprised us on her first day of swim class by immediately jumping into the pool, without hesitation, when it was her turn. Then, when we took her swimming as a family, all she wanted to do was "dive" [as she called it]. She would "dive" in and then swim to the ladder, climb out, and do it all over again. She was the youngest kid at this BBQ and all the other adults kept commenting on how "fearless" she was. We were proud!)
(Vienne's first day of swim class, June 2012. She was a champ. I remember tearing up with pride)
(jumping into the pool at a friend's BBQ this past summer, 2012)
Of course, like any child, Vienne had specific things that she was afraid of or intimidated by.
She didn't like most bugs, though when gently coerced, she would take interest in caterpillars, lady bugs, ants, and butterflies, of course.
Here is a great video from when she was 2. She is on the counter and scared of a piece of fuzz. She thinks it's a bug. ;)
Vienne did not like to sleep in full darkness...like many kids. She slept with her door WIDE open, propped open by her "guard dog" "Dooby" (Dooba's replacement). She also required a nightlight in her room as well as the bathroom light on, next to her room so that it would shine in.
As much as she loved thrills, it always perplexed me that she wouldn't dare to go inside the Bounce House at our local Play Boutique, nor would she go down their high slides. But, she loved to try and climb the rock walls at parks and different play structures. Hhmmm...silly girl.
The vacuum used to severely frighten her. Not until the last year was she comfortable with it.
I guess we all have our "things", don't we? The things that thrill us and the things that...well, um...don't. ;)
I miss the adventures and excitement over small things. I also miss comforting her when she was scared.