Tuesday, July 8, 2014

My Treasures.

Vince joined me for the evening dog walk Sunday. Nick had joined his dad for the drive to the airport: the conclusion of Nana’s annual summer visit.

Good ol’ Nana. Played some golf, partied pool side, caught some fireworks, hit the beach, and had a few meals out.  Then she hopped on a red eye back to Indiana, went straight to work, and played in a golf event last night.

What I would give to know I’ll be getting after it like Nana does when I’m 62!

Vince held Stitch’s leash until the neighbor kid two doors down asked if he could join us. The neighbor kid wanted to hold Stitch’s leash and Vince obliged him.

How nice of Vince! I thought to myself. Until the first shiny object beckoned Vince from the gutter...

“Mommy, look!”

The neighborhood scavenging had begun.

I looked down.

“Dude, it’s a penny.” I couldn’t even feign enthusiasm. It’s not like he’s three.

“I know but I’m still getting it.” Vince leapt off the sidewalk and grabbed at the grimy, oily street.

“I agree that you should pick up all found money but the penny is face down. That’s bad luck,” I tried to reason.

“I don’t believe in that,” Vince was quick to reply as he scooped up his penny.  In this moment, very clearly his father’s son.

“Suit yourself.”

And so we continued down the sidewalk – a parade of sorts. Butter was in the lead – a completely erratic, seemingly methed-out Grand Marshal – tugging desperately on his leash in his attempt to sniff out whatever the hell he’s always attempting to sniff out. Per usual, Stitch was barely a step behind me, once again demonstrating his preference for me above all other beings. Neighborhood kid was several steps behind Stitch, utilizing the full expanse of the retractable leash. Neighborhood kid was also rambling incessantly, in a display of stream of consciousness reserved exclusively for the elderly, the clinically insane, and the early elementary set.

A few highlights:

1. “My Aunt and Uncle have two birds that had babies. Surely, they must be rich! They are small Macaws!”

2.  “I have $20.32 saved that I’m going to give to my mom and dad to buy the trailer we’re gonna get when my mom sells her old car and my dad sells the wheels he just cleaned up in the garage.”

And my favorite:

3. “You should take Butter to Pet Co. for training. That’s where I took my dog and he can do all kinds of stuff. My guy there can help you.”

Precocious little shit.

Vince trailed a little further behind the neighborhood kid on the sidewalk, dashing into the grass or the street, looking for filthy, useless crap.

“Mom, look!” Vince ran up to me from behind and thrust something white in my face. I thought it was a wad of paper.

“What’s that?” I stopped.  “Butter, heel!  Heel!  HEEL!!!”

Like that’s going to work.

I gave Butter’s leash a tug.

“It’s a shell.  See.  Look!” Vince was very enthusiastic.

I took the small, white object in my hand. Vince was right. It was a shell.  A piece of a shell. To be honest, I think it was one of those small, man-made shells you purchase by the bag at Michael’s or Pottery Barn – the way to beach up your decorative glass vessel without getting sand between your toes. I didn’t have the heart to tell Vince it was a fake.

“That’s cool, honey. Where’d you find that?”

“Uhhh. Back there somewhere.” He casually nodded back over his shoulder as he grabbed the faux shell from my hand and ran ahead.

I watched Vince closely as we all walked along. His eyes darted from left to right, scanning the ground. He’d stop occasionally, his eyes catching on something out of the ordinary. He’d bend over and take a closer look. Sometimes he’d reach down and pick up the object but ultimately reject it.

“Mommy, I hate it when you see a shiny object and it ends up being a piece of tin foil or a candy wrapper.”

“Trust me, honey, we all do.”

Just before we crossed the street to walk up our own driveway, his third and final discovery of the walk was made. He came running up behind me.

“Mommy, look!”

“What is it?”

Vince placed a rusty piece of broken metal in my hand. It actually had some weight to it.

“I don’t know but its metal.”

“It’s kind of heavy.” I had to admit it felt substantial in my hand.

“I know.” He looked into my eyes with his bright eyes and satisfied grin. In Vince's mind, he had just hit pay dirt.

I smiled broadly back at him.


Monday afternoon, when I went to retrieve the mail, I found the penny, the broken shell, and the rusty piece of metal inside the mailbox underneath the day’s mail.  I scooped them up, along with the mail and headed back up the driveway.

“Hey, Vince!” I hollered as I walked in the front door. “Guess what I found in the mailbox?”

“My treasures!” He yelled back from the den. “I put them in there to keep them safe while we played Nerf guns. Nicky, come check them out. I found this piece of metal…”

Vince's treasures.

For my treasures, who turn 9 today. May your every day hold as much promise as that dog walk!

My treasures.