One of my dearest friends just bought a house down the road from us about 6 months ago. I was so excited to have her close because sometimes, mama needs a break! She and her husband would come down to join us for dinner, and I would escape to her house for a little girl time and vent sessions. Before the weather turned too cold, and we were still able to take our after school strolls, the kids and I decided to take a walk down to her house for a short visit. That’s when it all began….
As we neared her house the girls caught of glimpse of one of my dear friend’s most prized possessions, her horse. The squeals of excitement were all too familiar, similar to unwrapping presents on Christmas day or seeing a Disney princess in person, “A HORSE!!” That was it. I was done for. They took off sprinting for the barn as my friend came walking out to greet us. They asked a million questions, “What’s his name? Can we feed him? Can we ride him? How old is he? Does he eat dog food?” I stood there, watching and listening, and chuckling to myself, because I too had been that girl once. I remember cleverly putting together a purchase proposal for my dad on why we should get a horse and how we could go about doing it. I was shot down of course, which at the time broke my heart but now I can enjoy the humor in it all, just as he did.
As you can imagine, the walk home was filled with nothing but horse talk. The girls jabbered back and forth about their visit and how they were going to visit the horse every night. As I was prepared for, the inevitable question emerged, “mom, can we get a horse?” I laughed a little and said, “I don’t know, will a horse fit in your piggy bank?” Both girls stopped and looked at me with a very confused look, “mom! A horse can’t fit in a piggy bank!” “Well no,” I said, “but how do you think you get a horse in the first place?” The girls looked at each other and pondered a minute. “With dollars?” my youngest replied. “Yes, and how many dollars do you think a horse costs?” I asked. “Ummm….. a lot of dollars!” my oldest chimed. “Yes, a lot of dollars. So before you can have a horse you have to have enough money to buy the horse, give it a place to live, feed it, groom it, give it medicine when it’s sick….that’s a lot of dollars girls.” We continued our walk back home and I tried to contain myself as my oldest leaned over to her sister and said, “We need bigger piggy banks.”
Let’s be real, there is no way a horse is fitting in our back yard. But that’s no reason to crush their dreams immediately. Teaching children the value of saving their money is an invaluable lesson. It can also be paired with lessons of responsibility. I have no doubt that my dear friend wouldn’t mind two extra sets of hands helping her with barn chores so long as the end result meant two girls that get to love all over a particular horse. I have a feeling when the piggy banks get full, we’ll be making more trips to the credit union to deposit every bit of loose change my girls can come up with, into their Kids Club accounts. I’m Claire, the Afena blog mom. Thanks for reading.