An elementary-school-aged me riding the pony
There’s a lot that has changed in my neighborhood from when I was a kid till now. I grew up in this neighborhood, and in fact, only live ten minutes away from my childhood home. But in certain ways, it feels like it’s such a different place.
When I was a kid, the Grove didn’t even exist. When I was a kid, the Beverly Center was not a shopping mall full of stores selling expensive fashions, but instead housed kid-friendly places like an arcade, a Warner Brothers store, a book store, a music store, and my favorite -- Natural Wonders.
But thankfully, some things do continue. Some traditions live on. There is one outing my son really does enjoy that doesn’t seem to have changed all that much since I was a kid -- riding the ponies at Griffith Park. I used to go there with either my mom or dad. We’d ride the little train, go on the ponies, and if I was with my dad, head over to the driving range at Griffith Park Golf Course.
Now, it’s me taking my son to Griffith Park. We ride the train together. (One time we were there so early we were the only riders, and my son was given the honor of calling out, “All Aboard!”)
And my son rides the ponies. He’s recently started riding the “medium” ponies -- the ones that alternate between jogging and walking. A few loops around, and my son is happy and content. And so am I. Because we can share this time together. Because I know what it feels like to suddenly go from the confines of a car to being perched on top of a pony. Because it’s a relatively easy, relatively inexpensive date. (Thankfully, parking is still free).
And it makes me happy that something I did with my parents, I can now do with my son.
Ryan riding days before starting 2nd grade