The Writer's Cramp 7/1/20 W/C 569
I remember when I turned ten years old. Double digits - finally - and it was worth the wait. I could finally walk to the store alone. I was given ten dollars. A dollar per year of life.
A week before my birthday my Grandma in Montana sent me a card. It had a big dog on the front. I smiled at the happy dog picture. Then I opened the card and saw Grandma's gift. She sent me a ten dollar bill! That was the most money I had ever seen in my life. I could buy the world! I could buy all the toys in the store. I could buy a brand new bike. I could buy all the candy in the candy store. I could buy a new puppy. I could buy mom a new car.
So I told mom I was going to buy the world with Grandma’s gift.
“Oh really? What are you going to buy, George?”
We discussed this as we ate lunch. She fed Amy in the high chair and I ate tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich. Mom ate Amy’s leftover baby food bananas. She always ate the leftover baby food bananas. She said it was her favorite thing to eat.
“I think I will start at the toy store. I will buy Amy all the baby toys. Then a bike for me. After that I will go to Sam’s Sweets and get bags of candy. When I come home, you and Amy can take me to get a puppy. But before we do all that we all need to go get a new car. The car is old and you need a new car. That is what I will buy with the money Grandma sent me.”
Mom shoveled baby food bananas into Amy’s mouth. She smiled as I told her my plans. She didn’t tell me I had impossible dreams, or that the ten dollars wouldn’t buy everything I planned. She let me find out the hard way.
“When are you going on the shopping trip? Do we leave after we eat?” Mom wiped Amy’s face. Amy pounded on her high chair, demanding to be set free.
I thought on this. Big plans for big money. “Why don’t we go and look at cars? You know, shop around. Would that work? Do we have time?”
Mom released Amy, who ran around the kitchen in circles. “I think we have a few minutes before nap time.”
So we cruised around the city, checking the car lots. I quickly learned the price of cars, and knew my ten dollars wasn’t enough to buy a car. We went home and put Amy to bed for her nap.
“Can I still walk to the toy store by myself?” I asked mom after we got home.
“You surely can. Just come right back. Don’t stay too long.” Mom went back to laundry duty.
I bought my toy and headed home.
After supper, we had cake and ice cream to celebrate my birthday. Mom got me a new bike, I was surprised.
Then I gave mom a gift. She was surprised. It was a toy car.
“Since I can’t buy you a car, I thought I’d get you a promise car. And then you can keep the rest of my birthday money to save for a real car someday.”
“Thank you, George. Happy tenth birthday.”