I didn't follow the rules exactly - and I did more telling than showing in my writing - but overall I'm happy with pulling all these ideas together. Here's my first draft:
"She Likes Horses and America too... And I’m Free, Free-Falling..." Sing it Tom Petty.
I was the girl obsessed with horses. Maybe it was because they possessed beauty and power and represented all that is wild and free. I read books about horses like Misty of Chincoteague, Black Beauty, and even references books like The Encyclopedia of the Horse and I even saved up money so I could subscribe to magazines like Horse Of Course while my friends were reading Teen Beat and Seventeen. Summers found me at sleep away horseback riding camps like Camp Farley and Camp Snipatuit. I dreamed that someday I would own my own horse but settled on my Breyer horse collection. The Appaloosa with the broken leg; the sturdy Clydesdale; and the beautiful and elegant Quarter horse. When my daughter was born, I put those same Breyer horses on a shelf in her room and they’ve been in her room ever since. I drew pictures of horses and wore a necklace with a horse head - I found it and wore it to work today, someday I’ll give it to her.
Allison may not love horses as much as I did, but she has my independent spirit, she is wild and free, and she wants to travel on her own - just the other day she told me "I want to travel the world by myself - alone." "Without me?" I asked with eyebrows that made her know I wanted to come - and she said "well you can come some of the time, but I need to go by myself too." "I get it." I answered. And I do get it. Not only did I love to spend whole summers away at camp, but as soon as I graduated from high school, I got on a plane in Bangor, Maine headed for Tampa, Florida and I hardly looked back; I spent semesters and spring breaks in Europe. I wanted to see the world on my own. I know exactly what she means.
Allison does love animals and ever since she could answer the question "What are you going to be when you grow up?" She has answered a veterinarian. I don’t think I ever wanted to be a veterinarian because I’m a bit more squeamish than she is - while I love to rescue stray animals, she loves to doctor them - and even to be there when we said a final goodbye to our black lab Duke. She is also reading chapter books now and all of the books she reads are about animals. She’s always said that someday she’s going to live on a farm in the country - so maybe someday she’ll get that horse I’ve always wanted - maybe I was trying to plant a seed with putting the Breyer horse collection in her room.
So from my little room with the yellow wallpaper on Edgeworth Street in Dartmouth, Massachusetts, to Silver Road in Bangor, these horses have traveled with me and for the last 10 years have been living in Allison’s room. They remind me of my own strong will as a child and remind me to support my daughter’s own strong will - even when we butt heads - she is a lot like me and that is a challenging but good thing. The Breyer Horses are a symbol of being a girl with a mind of her own - all that power and beauty and potential.
And yet, when I ask Allison if she’d like to go riding - she says no - except for a few guided rides at the zoo. And when we rented a cabin in the woods in Georgia - she was terrified of being in the woods at first. Makes me want to send her to Camp Farley or Snipatuit if they still exist - and makes me want to be able to, for one summer, be 10 again and spend the summer riding Bugles the little red pony or my tall grey horse who was named Never, as in better late than never. But it is also so nice when she still occasionally wants to sleep with me - a nice contrast to when she makes statements like "Mom, I’m practically self-sufficient now, all I need is a car." Slow down girl, there’s plenty of time to be wild and free and completely independent.
I love you Allison. Love, Mommy 10/2013.
I'm working on the layout now.