Posted by Len Ramirez, Total Teen Dad | Posted in Total Teen Dad | Posted on 04-03-2011
About a week ago, my son and I were cooking dinner together, chatting about the day. We don’t often eat dinner together anymore, but when we do, it reminds me of the days when eating dinner together was always an important thing to do.
While we were spooning with spoons and flipping with flippers, he told me how he had talked to some of his friends and family about a story he partially remembered, from sometime back when he was much younger, and had asked them if they knew of the story or where it had come from. Nobody knew.
He spoke of how it was a fond memory for him and that he remembered hearing it often.
When I asked him to tell me what he remembered, he said he remembered it had something to do with wild horses running and grabbing hold of one of them as they ran by. When he paused, I immediately knew the story. I knew it because I created it and I told it to the kids. Almost every night when they were much, much younger.
He was excited that I knew of what he spoke about and wanted me to refresh his memory.
It was at that moment that I knew that I had done something right. When I used to tell the kids bedtime stories, I always tried to come up with a ‘franchise’ story, the same way Hollywood looks for a blockbuster they can write sequels to so they keep paying off. Likewise, I would search for that story the kids would want to hear again and again. Something they might continue doing with their kids when they got older.
And so, it took a couple of decades, but I had confirmation that the franchise was alive. Not many blockbusters in Hollywood have a life like that. James Bond is the only one that comes to mind. Not even Harry Potter can top it.
It wasn’t long. It wasn’t much. But it helped them go to sleep when they thought they couldn’t. As I put my hand to the side of their face and gently brushed their silky hair back over their heads, I told the story in a soft voice. And it went a little something like this…
“I want you to close your eyes and dream of large fields of grass with wild horses running across them. The sun is warm and the wind is gently blowing through your hair. The horses are beginning to run past you, all around you. And as they do that, you look for the most beautiful horse, the one that catches your eye. And as it runs past you, I want you to grab hold of that horse and pull yourself up onto it and ride it. Ride it as it takes you to anyplace you want to go tonight. And when you wake up in the morning, I want you to tell me all about it.”
And they slept. Goodnight kids.