I used to be what Dr. Phil calls, “a right fighter” – I always had to be right about everything. I spent hours reading volumes of World Book encyclopedias to prove my points. I would get lost inside them and soak up as much knowledge as my head would hold.
But despite my insatiable desire to learn, I lacked – what do you call it? – oh yeah, common sense.
My sisters and I would ask Dad for a penny so we could get a gum ball. The request for 3 cents sent him over the edge. Our “budget” did not include such frivolous expenses as gum balls.
“You think money grows on trees?” My father would bellow.
Absolutely, I do! And to prove it, I planted change in various places in the back yard, mostly to PROVE HIM WRONG, but also to prove myself right. I patiently waited for the day my trees would grow, so I could say, “SEE, DAD! MONEY REALLY DOES GROW ON TREES!”
Every day I ran to the window, searching the back yard for the tiny sticks I stuck in the ground to mark my trees and expecting a Jack-in-the-Beanstalk experience. I couldn’t wait to see my trees reach through the clouds and run all the way to Heaven. I was going to have penny trees, nickel trees, dime trees, and quarter trees, because I had planted change all over the back yard.
And then my dad mowed the lawn and obliterated all of my tiny sticks so I couldn’t find my future money trees. How could I water them now? They were merely money graves without headstones. I was devastated, and along with my tiny sticks, my “magical thinking” was mowed down as well.
I think about that back yard sometimes, about going to the front door holding a shovel in my hand and asking the people who now live there if they would allow me to dig up their back yard. I could really use the money.