Written by Guest Contributor Sheran Milius
As a child, I watched a lot of TV Westerns and daydreamed of having a horse. I asked my father if we could buy a pony, but he told me horses were illegal to have as pets in the city. I was saddened by this news but continued to play with my toy cowboys and horses.
Once while visiting my cousin I tried on her cowboy boots. They were too big for me, yet felt wonderful to wear. I determined if I couldn’t have a horse instead I would ask for cowboy boots. I approached my mother with the idea, but she informed me that money was tight and I’d have to wait.
However, while running errands last Christmas, my childhood wish for cowboy boots returned. In a casual conversation, I mentioned to my husband that I had always wanted cowboy boots as a child. To my surprise, he said, “Let’s go get you some.” I chuckled, “Right now?” He responded, “Yes” and turned the car in the direction of a nearby ranch and home supply store.
“Why haven’t you ever told me this before?” lamented my husband. The answer ingrained in my brain burst aloud, “Cowboy boots are too expensive and there are more important things than them!” He consoled me kindly saying that my happiness was more important to him than anything else in the world. He added that he’d love to buy me cowboy boots for a Christmas gift. I greatly appreciated his gentle reaction and spontaneous gesture to take me shopping.
We entered the store holding hands and a helpful attendant fitted me with a beautiful pair of burgundy boots along with a razzle-dazzle rhinestone belt. And just that fast – after waiting five decades – I got my first cowboy boots at age sixty.
Today I wear “my boots” with more joy than anyone can imagine. Over my lifetime commitments such as buying a home; creating a family; and sending children on missions, to college and marriage were our important priorities. I believe that fulfilling these goals allowed my childhood dream of cowboy boots to resurface in my mind.
Christmas permits people to dream and wish for gifts no matter what their age. For me as a senior, wanting cowboy boots represented a yearning for new adventure. I’m looking forward to my husband’s retirement and spending more time together. He’s my trusted partner and real-life hero for making my wish come true. His Christmas gift of cowboy boots has made me taller, strengthened my aging ankles, and let me feel like a cowgirl. It’s funny to me how a “childhood want” eventually became a “needed boost.” Even without a horse, I’m ready to “Giddy-up and Yippee Ki Yay!”