I Want a Pony.
When I was a little girl, I wanted a pony. Horses are beautiful and I thought a pony, which is just a small horse, would be a great pet.
My cousins, who lived on a farm, had a pony named Rusty. When we visited, my cousin Billy would lead Rusty around the yard with me sitting proudly atop like a princess. Later, I would break out my copy of Misty of Chincoteague and imagine I was the girl who could tame the wild pony.
Oddly, I never did get a pony.
Now Dylan wants a go-kart. He wants one with every fiber of his being, and he’s found them online (used and in terrible condition) for about $300. A good go-kart is $1000 and would probably be ridden half a dozen times before it broke and/or got ignored in favor of some girl, or some other new hobby.
But, sadly for Dylan, we gave him our ten-year-old, used lawn tractor for his birthday. We took the blade mechanisms off, and told him he can take it apart and rebuild the engine any way he wants, so that he can race the lawn mower in the summer.
I was a little worried about giving this gift, so I tasked my husband with figuring out how to enhance the engine. I took the kids out of town for a whole weekend. Three days later, Bill had done exactly nothing – leaving me with no new parts to wrap. Just an old mower.
So I was a bit anxious about giving Dylan an old lawn tractor for his birthday when he really wanted a go-kart. I spent half an hour with a spool of yarn, winding it around the house and out to the shed, so he would have a fun way to discover his gift.
Dylan opened the shed, sat on the tractor and said, “So I got something that I already had.”
This was not exactly the reaction I’d been hoping for.
Half an hour later, Dylan was sobbing for no apparent reason. He swore it had nothing to do with the tractor and, instead, had to do with the overwhelming issue of not being a kid anymore.
Welcome to the world of adulthood, I thought. This is where you get what you get, not always what you want. You can no longer wish for something and have it magically appear. It’s a place where you can’t stop time, or turn back the clock, or grab hold of what you used to have – because usually whatever you had is now gone.
With adulthood comes more responsibility, more work, less time for play. But it also comes with the wisdom – hopefully – of being grateful for what you have, because whatever you have – like it or not – is all you really need.
I never would have learned this from getting a pony.