A Birthday Surprise for a Boy Missing His Horse
It’s only a few weeks until a monumental day for me and my son, Paris. On June 7th, he will celebrate his 10th birthday. While most kids want to plan Chuck E. Cheese parties, my son has requested only one thing. Unfortunately, that “one thing” isn’t something “happy” or “fun”, it’s just plain depressing. I’ve thought about this a bunch in the past few months. Hell, I’ve dreaded the upcoming day ever since August 28th of last year. You see, there’s a ton to this story…
In July of last year my life was flipped upside down when I was given the opportunity to own a special horse. That particular horse had changed my life. In fact, he had saved my life. Last summer, I got to reunite with my childhood horse, savior and best friend. His name was SG Black Knight and he was a beautiful black Arabian stallion. Just one month before Knight came back into my life, he celebrated his 28th birthday. I knew that I was getting myself into a sad situation of losing him all over again but this time, I would be able to tell him “thank you”. This time, I would get to tell him “good-bye” just one last time. If you don’t know Knight’s story, you can use the search bar in the upper right hand corner and search for “Knight”. Or you can click here to be taken to the first story I wrote about our reunion.
Of course, it didn’t take long for my son to fall in love with the old fella. Knight had a personality that drew you in. One look in his eyes and you knew that everything in the world would be okay as long as he was by your side. For the first time my kids got to see a part of me that lay dormant for so long. Even better than that was that they got to know the love of a very special horse. Of my 3 boys, my middle child bonded with him the most. Interestingly, Paris is the most like me of my kids. I guess Knight knew it, too. As the days passed, Paris took on more and more responsibility with Knight. He began brushing him, helping halter him and he even started referring to Knight as “his” horse. One day after I put Knight out in the paddock for some exercise, I walked back into the barn to clean up his stall. The next thing I knew, I heard the familiar clip-clopping of hooves on concrete. I panicked, knowing that Paris and I were the only ones at the barn. I ran around the corner to find my 9-year-old had haltered Knight and he had taken him from the paddock and was bringing him back inside. While the mom in me screamed, the little girl in me beamed. So what, a kid haltered and led a horse. Big deal. It happens all the time. Just what made that moment so special? My son haltered up and led a horse all by himself for the very first time in his life. AND it just so happened to be the very first horse that I haltered up and led by myself all those years ago. Just thinking of it makes me tear up. Just how often does a child get to experience a first with the same horse that a mother did?
Sadly, our time with Knight was short-lived. He left us on the evening of August 28th, 2013, just two days after the monumental day that Paris led him. On the day that Knight died, Paris begged and pleaded with me to let him stay. I thought it was too much for him to handle so I denied him. That evening I know that Paris begged God and the angels to help his friend live. In the morning, my bloodshot eyes told Paris that Knight didn’t make it. After he stopped crying, he said, “There will be a new star shining bright tonight. Don’t cry mom, he’ll always be with us. All you have to do is look up to the sky and find the brightest star and he’ll be right there.”
One of the hardest things in all of this was the fact that from the moment Knight came into Paris’s life, my kiddo had planned on having a combined birthday party at the barn with him. I wasn’t the only thing the two had in common. Nope, two of my greatest loves also shared a birthday. As much as I tried to explain to Paris that I didn’t think Knight would make it to the next birthday, Paris argued and planned the big day, even down to the detail of the party hats for all the horses. After Knight died, I hoped that Paris would forget his birthday plan. A few days ago, I found out that he hadn’t. When I finally asked him what he wanted to do for his birthday, he of course replied, “Well, I’m going to spend it out at the barn. Duh.”. Crap. Do you know how depressing it is for your son to want to spend his 10th birthday at a horse barn just because he made a promise to a dead horse?
So, now what? How do I get out of this? I think I know…
I’m asking a ton here but my hope is that Knight’s story and Paris’s love of him has touched a chord with people. Instead of planning a sad, depressing party at the barn, I want the day to be about Paris. I want things to be a celebration. So, I need some help.
I know that Knight has a big list of progeny out there. I’d like for anyone who has a horse with him in the pedigree to take a moment and send me an email or a letter that includes a story/photo of the horse and a note of why it’s so special to you. I plan to take all the letters, photos and emails and give them to Paris on his special day. That way, he can see that his life wasn’t the only one changed by a special horse. Knight will live on his offspring and their offspring and most of all, his memory and love will be with us forever. (Knight’s information is at the end of this blog) Paris doesn’t need to spend his big day next to a grave. He needs to be doing fun stuff!
If this story or the other stories of Knight have touched you, please comment below! I’ll include all the comments on this blog in what I give Paris on his birthday. Make sure you scroll to the bottom for some great photos! Thank you!!
SG Black Knight