Fifteen minutes away from school with five minutes until a golf practice that’s twenty minutes away from school. “Late” wasn’t even really where I was. I was in a place called “panicking over being late for golf practice.”
I kicked myself in the butt for choosing a school that didn’t emulate a fast food joint by having the teacher stand outside with my kid while I leaned out of the window, grabbed her and threw her in the back seat. I broke with routine and dispensed with walking up the sidewalk, parked behind the principal’s car, stood by the driver’s side and screamed my child’s name repeatedly. Luckily, I have enough volunteer hours in the school that I can get away with this.
“Hurry, hurry, hurry… HURRRYHURRYHURRY!!! We’re late, we’re late, we’re late… LAAAAAAATE!!”
Yes, for golf practice.
I once read an analysis of slavery in the American South that postulated that slave owners thought slaves were lazy because they didn’t realize that slaves intentionally worked slowly and broke tools as a form of resistance. It wasn’t that the slaves were lazy or stupid, it was that the masters were morons for not realizing they were being made fools of. While this seems peripheral, this thought popped in my head as I screamed “HURRYHURRYHURRY!!!” and watched my daughter walk towards me at a pace that made the a slow-motion replay of [insert super famous golf player here doing something famous here] look like the Road Runner ditching that sad, sad coyote.
She got into the car made a colossal announcement.
“I lost my tooth!”
Okay, I knew it was loose, but this wasn’t a good day for losing a first tooth. People need to schedule things like that. Our plan today was golf practice, driving forty five minutes away to eat dinner with a friend and then coming back to our place and have grown up conversations after the kids went to bed. Playing tooth fairy wasn’t on the schedule. I had wanted to do something special with envelopes and special coins and I don’t know… more magical stuff.
The night ended. With the kids in bed and inappropriate jokes laughed at, I was off to bed. Suddenly, I remembered the tooth and panicked. I had no plan. NO PLAN!! I searched my wallet for something, anything…. all I had in there was a quarter and a twenty dollar bill.
I hear you. Put a quarter under her pillow and be done with it.
First of all, when I lost my first tooth back in 1982, I distinctly remember getting five dollars. By my calculations, if I want to propagate the idea of upward mobility in immigrant families, I’m going to have to give this child something like $50 for that tooth. If I put a quarter under my child’s pillow, I would be telling the world, my child, and America itself that all of the trials and tribulations all of those hundred of thousands of huddled masses who had immigrated to this great nation in the hopes that their progeny would create lives of a quality that it all meant absolutely nothing.
If I didn’t put that twenty under my kid’s pillow, it would make America mean nothing.
I put that twenty under the pillow because I love America. Don’t you judge me.
I think we’re on the same page, now, my friend.