I had an “Ozzy and Harriet” childhood. I was raised by two loving parents, had a younger sister and brother, and lived in a neighborhood teeming with friends. There was very little drama in our lives; we had a stay-at-home mom and a daddy who always held a job. When other mothers cheered the beginning of the school year because their children were returning to school, ours cried because she loved having us home.
Two houses separated my house from that of my best friend, Jackie. If we weren’t at our house, we were at hers, or playing in the cul de sac in front of our house. Our house was imagination central, with dress-up clothes and jewelry, tent-making blankets, and a tipi that doubled as an army hospital or a saloon, depending on the day. Mom was our best support and supply officer.
There was really only one rule, strictly enforced: Children were not allowed to quarrel with each other. If you couldn’t play pretty, you had to go home!
One beautiful summer afternoon, Jackie and I were playing “Gunsmoke” in the backyard, as usual. We were getting dressed up and organizing our play, when an argument erupted about which one of us got to be “Miss Kitty”. I felt that, since it was MY house, I should be Miss Kitty. Jackie, of course, thought that SHE, as my guest, should have that honor. Our squabbling brought Mom out back to referee.
After listening carefully to both sides of the issue, Mom passed judgment, “As far as I’m concerned, you can BOTH be TRIGGER’S HORSE if you want to!” she declared. (We knew, of course, that she meant to say “Roy Rogers’ horse, Trigger”, and did our best not to laugh in her face.) She then marched back into the house, and we dissolved in giggles, argument averted.
Since that day fifty-plus years ago, “You can be Trigger’s Horse” has been short-hand in our family for “there are no limits to what you can achieve”, and in Mom’s honor, I blog as “Trigger’s Horse”.