For Everything Else, There’s Dad’s Wallet

The boy and I went into the city today.

Which is to say, we shopped Small Town’s Main Street stores, instead of sticking to the perimeters of the city.

The perimeters would be, namely, Walmart. Our one-stop, buy-it-all, spend-a-lot-no-matter-what-their-slogan-preaches store.

And, people, listen. The boy and I hemorrhaged some money today in downtown Small Town. Oh, the boy didn’t spend any hard-earned, backed-with-gold, American dollars; he was simply the recipient of the goods secured with the cash.

I felt like a commercial for a major credit card company.

Mouth guard for football, which is filled with luxurious gel product, which will not rub sores on your gums, like the freebies that are handed out when you sign up for football do: $20. New Nike gloves with a whole lot of stick-’em on them, which are guaranteed to prevent you from dropping a football, but which you really just want to wear because they LOOK cool: $30. New Keen slip-on shoes for school, which look an awful lot like Dad’s: $60. A one-pound bag of jelly beans, from the new candy store: $8. Treats at the local coffee shop together: $9. Spending the day in the city, walking beside your ten-year-old boy and having him slip his little hand into yours while you stroll the sidewalks together: Priceless.

Because someday soon, he’s going to be driving. And he’ll take himself to the sporting goods store on Main Street. And he’ll meet some (gasp!) girl at the local coffee shop, instead of sitting at the table with me. And he’ll spend $8 on digital music, instead of asking me to help him pick out eccentric flavors of jelly beans.

I just want to treasure days like these and hold them tight in my heart.

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