Last week we took the family out to Red Lobster. Not a cheap dinner... but sometimes you have to live a little. At Red Lobster Rowan ordered root beer that came in a "beer" looking bottle. He was sooooo excited. He felt like a man. It's weird because neither Christoper or I drink beer on a regular basis (for me it's never because beer makes me want to Ralph), for that matter we don't really drink period. So Rowan sat at dinner feeling like a big man taking swigs of his root beer out of a beer looking bottle. After we were done he asked if he could take it home, why not. You would have thought that plastic bottle was a security blanket. He has now convinced himself that it is a "lucky" bottle. That's what he calls it "my lucky bottle". Poor little crazy kid.
One of Rowan's friends is going to Disney World this March Break. This made the desire to return to that magical place all the stronger for him. Almost everyday "when can we go back to Disney World?", my response "I don't know Bud, it's a pretty expensive trip.", his little face falls. "If I won a thousand dollars could we go then?" he asks, never loosing that obsessive chain of thought in his head. "No buddy, it costs more than a thousand dollars to go." He looks shocked, to him a thousand dollars is pretty much the most money in the whole world. "Could we buy a lottery ticket Mom?" "We could, but we never win." I reply keeping my face cheerful but inwardly rolling my eyes. "But Mom, I have my lucky bottle now. I blew into my lucky bottle before school today, and my team won at soccer." To him this is perfect logic. "Mom, please can you buy a lottery ticket.... I know that we will win!" Here's the thing, generally I am guided by logic. I consider myself to be an intelligent woman. I know all of this, an yet there is also that ridiculously superstitious part to me that I try to suppress on a daily basis. "What if he has a sixth sense about this? What if we could win the lottery?" these are the thoughts that creep into my brain that I try to use rationally. I send Christopher out to the convenience store for a lottery ticket... just in case, I mean it's only $3.00 right?
That night I went up to tuck the kids in and kiss them goodnight. "Did you get the lottery ticket Mom?" "Yes Rowan, Daddy got a lottery ticket". "I can't wait to see Zack's face when he sees us at Disney World on March Break!" He smiles a contented little smile, and settles into his bed, a happy little crazy boy. I shake my head and smile at his certainty. I hope that he's not too disappointed when we don't win. Part of me feels like by buying into this, we are encouraging him to be unrealistic. The next morning he woke up and asked if we'd won. "The draw is on Saturday night Bud." I am trying to be patient, but it is an effort.
Yesterday afternoon Christopher was home. We sat in our chairs enjoying coffee. We were talking about how obsessed Rowan is with the lottery ticket. Christopher then asks "I know that we won't win..." Oh God he's caught our son's craziness. " but if by some crazy chance we won the 13 million, what would be the first thing that you would buy?" I don't even have to think about this one, he knows that. "An RV!" I tell him. We then start talking crazy talk. We talk about what we would do if we won. Let me point out that this is the first lottery ticket that we have purchased in at least ten years. I try to be a realist, and yet that fantasy is too rich and fun not to talk about. We begin talking about the trips we would take, the home improvements we would make. Would he quit his job or not. Oh we would donate a large amount of money to local worth while charities. We should bank half of the money, and after the initial fun only spend the interest. Oh we talked and talked.
I know that we are not going to win 13 million dollars. I know this, and yet it's fun to fantasize about it. It's fun to play pretend, to imagine a world where we did not have to worry about money. We wasted $3.00. We wasted $3.00, and yet is it a waste to pay $3.00 for hope? That's what we are really buying is hope. It is the hope of easier times. The hope of wonderful things to come. I'll let you know tomorrow if I'm a millionaire.