When I was eleven or twelve, someone from my old school got in touch with me out of the blue because they knew I liked horses and they were part-loaning a horse whose mother was also available for part-loan. It was an acquaintance rather than a friend, and not someone I would have chosen to hang out with necessarily. But the promise of a horse was all I needed to be sold on the idea.

After visiting and finding out more, I asked my mother if I could part-loan Mother Horse. She said she’d think about it. It was too much money, really. I was far from hopeful. Part-loaning a horse seemed impossible, primarily because I wanted it so much. At that time in my life, there was probably nothing I wanted more than a horse. If I want something that much, said my brain, logic dictates I mustn’t have it.

I stayed up all night praying at my window to whoever or whatever might hear me to please, please, somehow, someway, let me loan the horse. Sitting on the sill with my feet on the roof as I was wont to do, I bowed to the night and clenched my hands together in a sort of manic, energetic desperation. Please, please, please, please, please, please, please.

The next day, my mother said I could part-loan the horse. It was a miracle! My praying had worked!

Looking back objectively on the situation, it doesn’t look so much like a miracle as it looks like a woman with a tendency to overspend, who wanted to please her daughter and would soon go bankrupt. But at the time, it was a miracle.

And I think about that sometimes, when I’m wishing for miraculous things.

My whole life could change in an instant, and the change could be enacted through incredibly mundane, predictable to some, nigh-on inevitable avenues, and it would still be a miracle.

There are two things I want so much right now that my brain tells me they’re impossible. But if I consider them dispassionately, they’re entirely possible. They don’t even involve that many moving parts. There is not much that would need to align to have them manifest. They’re no big thing, despite how big they are to me. I could wake up tomorrow, and someone could have decided to grant me a miracle.

In an ideal world

I’m laughing at myself a little bit because I just read the first lines of my last post and realised that, even in my correction, I still only went as far as saying in an ideal world I could create the school that I want to send my son to; not that it already exists. But I guess that sounds about right. I don’t know whether it’s flagging control issues, ego or just not wanting to be left out, but it sounds about right.

As exciting as it would be, though, I am too perpetually exhausted to be doing a good job of a project that big. Oh. but wait, in an ideal world, I get a solid eight hours. I keep forgetting the brief. Still, we can take it further, and we should. That’s how we get to the heart of things – by pushing past the edges.

In an ideal world, everything we have collectively learned over our time on this Earth would be harnessed to tailor education to each of our children’s individual needs and potentials, and as parents we would be actively involved in this ever unfolding process, because the value of raising children would be elevated above what we currently consider productivity. Is that better?

It’s useful to think about what we want. What we really want. You know, outside of our self-imposed limitations. Outside of what we’ve learned to accept is possible. If we could have anything, what would it be? If you’re anything like me, you’ll have to push yourself beyond your first few answers before you get to the truth. Before you even get close to scratching the itch of your deepest ambitions. Or even begin to perceive the full extent of your vision.

In an ideal world…

It’s a good prompt.