If I Had a Million Dollars

Hello again. It’s me, Joey.

d4750242d2fcabb3cc325206c0c20eb5How did you imagine life would be when you were a kid? I remember quite well what I thought life was going to be like. I was going to make around $1,000,000 a year as the guy who rides on the back of garbage trucks. See, I thought that those guys stayed on the back when the truck was on the highway, and I thought that would be really fun. I was a bit of an adrenaline junkie (but not nearly as bad as my sister Caroline.) Me and my 2 best friends, Grace and Nathan, worked out the details. We’d all get neighboring mansions and dig a secret tunnel beneath them so we could hangout whenever we wanted.

I haven’t seen them in 15 years, since the last time I visited New Hampshire, so I can’t say whether or not Grace and Nathan followed through with the plan. I do know that I didn’t follow through. I now know that the logistics of that plan would far outweigh the benefits: having to deal with a coop board or a home owners association to gain approval; privately funding the necessary environmental survey to make sure that our tunnel wouldn’t interfere with the migration pattern of moles; and finding a trustworthy contractor to do the physical labor. I wonder what 9 year old me would think of 24 year old me flaking on the plan.

An approximation of the plan

Mere and I went to visit Caroline this past week. We came to play board games with her, Craig, and some friends.We got to her house around 7:00. The time matters, because her son Ethan’s bedtime is at 7:00. Apparently, he had worked it out in his head that Mere and I were going to spend the time after preschool with him rather than rolling in around the same time he goes to bed. I’m not sure if it was a miscommunication between Caroline and me, Ethan and Caroline, or something concocted in the mind of a 4 year old. Probably a combination of all 3.

Anyways, when we came inside, he was happy to see us… for about 20 seconds. Then, the reality of bedtime sat in. His face, gleaming with the excitement about the prospects of a full day playing video games with me and coloring with Meredith, quickly grew seldom as the reality of time sank in. Caroline told Ethan that Meredith and I would tuck him into bed. He brushed his teeth, put on his pajamas, and solemnly climbed into bed, the whole time chocking back tears. In an effort to to prevent later-in-life abandonment issues, I told him that he could have a sleepover at our new apartment.That seemed to help the situation a little.

I’ve never experienced that feeling before. It’s hard to wrap words around it. I think this is how uncles feel. Having a little guy want to hang out with you and thinking that you have an inherent value in his life without really doing anything and not having to worry about feeding him. I guess it’s similar to how my dad explained what being a grandfather feels like, minus having to buy him lots of stuff. It’s a pretty sweet deal.

That’s all for this week. As always, I’ll be back next Friday.


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