Sometimes the Face Book post feature “Do You Remember?” strikes a deep chord. Such was the case this past week when the picture was of a play horse mounted on a frame with springs.
Some background here : just before my 16th birthday, my next-door neighbor and friend gave birth to Patrick. The day he came home from the hospital, I sat and held him for hours. There was instant bonding, and I saw him almost every day and watched him progress from infant to toddler to very bright, very active little boy.
Patrick was about two when he received one of those “spring” horses which either he or we adults named Rocket, and from the first mounting would spend hours on it. Truth telling: Patrick would sometimes bounce even though he needed a major diaper change. I’ll leave that result to your imagination! Occasionally he would bounce so hard that Rocket would inch across the room. With a broad smile Patrick would urge the horse on and give giant waves and slap his thighs shouting “Dot-Dot, look at me!”
Fast forward a few years and I had two little boys of my own. I desperately wanted to buy a “Rocket” for them but there was no room in the budget. At the same time, manufacturers offered mail-in product redemptions. With postage being only four and later five cents, even twenty-five cents back was worthwhile, and sometimes I’d find an offer for fifty cents or occasionally a dollar. I put that money aside and when someone on my bowling team was selling a “Rocket” her children had outgrown, I had enough money to buy him. I was very excited, but I must confess that my boys had only a cursory interest in this horse . They liked trucks better.
Now, very sadly, Patrick died of accidental drowning less than two months before he was three years old. I was devastated, and for a long time had dreams that he was calling for me to help him. And now, even after all these years, deep in my heart Patrick is riding with abandon on his Rocket and shouting, ” Dot-Dot, look at me!”
Dorothy C. Judd 2015
Next post: Monday, October 26, 2015