When I was a little girl, I dreamed about having a horse to call my very own. I had no idea what I would name it, but I knew exactly what I would do with it. I would keep the horse up in my room. It would have its own bed next to mine. Whenever I felt bad or sad, I would hop on it and ride it around the house and neighborhood. I would have the horse go fast, faster and faster, until we were running together, feeling the wind lift us up. It would be like flying, but better somehow.
As I got older, my dreams got less grandiose. I became more grounded in reality. I still dreamed about having a horse of my own. But I wouldn’t keep it in my bedroom. That would be silly. The horse wouldn’t fit, for one. For another, it would make such a mess, and my mother hated messes.
I would dream about riding a horse across a huge open pasture. I would ride it off to the sunset, feeling the wind in my stubbornly straight hair. It would be just like the movies. I would feel the lifeblood of the horse rushing underneath me. And I would clutch the mane of the horse for dear life.
Now, I never ended up getting a horse. That was just a dream. Some dreams are destined to come true, and some aren’t. That’s just life. But it’s okay, because we wouldn’t have had the room for a horse. And horses are a lot of work. The fantasy was still amazing, breathtaking, and beautiful though.
Still, even though my own dream of having a real life horse never came true, I was still determined to make it a reality for my daughter. So, the Christmas before last, I ordered a special horse to be delivered to the house. After a few hours of labor and care, everything was prepared on Christmas Eve morning. I was ready to surprise her with this special gift.
When she first saw the horse, she was excited and exuberant. But she was also intimidated and scared, because it was a little bit too tall for her petite frame. With help however, she was able to straddle the horse, wrapping her legs around the horse’s middle very tightly and placing her feet securely in the stir-ups.
She grinned broadly as she led her horse forward. The horse said neigh, neigh, and she said wow. I said wow too, as I watched her go back and forth, back and forth, in a repetitive motion.
Nearly two years later, we still have the horse. It has a special home in one corner of our house. When she remembers, which isn’t that often, she feeds it carrots and brushes its long, black mane. She loves to give her horse a hug. She loves to go fast on her horse. She even begs for her baby brother to ride with her, but he just isn’t old enough to go riding yet.
So, even though I never got a horse for Christmas, I wanted to get one for my daughter. That is one of the best things about having kids. You get to relive your childhood.
What was the best Christmas gift that you’ve ever received?