My son Drew has a pretty expensive Christmas list this year.
For starters, he’d like a new car, something sporty with a great sound system – one that gets a good bass quality in its speakers. (Ask me later about this kid’s love of bass and how it drives me nuts!)
After the car, he’d also like a new second-story bedroom and hangout area, complete with his own personal bathroom with a nice shower where he can receive a 30-minute-long, nice hot rejuvenation each day.
And he doesn’t think he’s asking for much. In fact, he tells me he’s pretty certain these dreams can come true – maybe not right on Christmas Day, but we can start working on them right after the holiday.
That’s because Drew has convinced himself that his father has won the lottery – the big lottery, worth millions.
It was a couple weeks ago that he came up to me with his quiet voice and said, “Mom, I think I know something big.”
Me: “What’s that, Drew?”
Drew: “I think Dad won the lottery.”
Me: “Right! What would make you think that?”
Then he showed it to me - a lottery ticket sitting on Troy’s computer desk from last summer, one that had been purchased in Missouri. Just sitting there by all of Troy’s other things.
Drew said he’d never noticed it before, but that week he had noticed it, and he theorized that his dad was holding onto it for a reason. “You can claim them up to a year,” he told me. “So, why would he still have it?”
Well, that got me to thinking. Forget the fact that Troy often has really old receipts lying around the house and in his truck. Drew might be onto something big. My own dream factory started kicking in. First, I want to put a little aside for each of the kids’ education – good gosh, they might actually get to go to college! Second, I’d like to add on a family room at the back of the house – who needs a backyard anyway? Third, I’d like to take the family on a real vacation to somewhere that isn’t a campground. Wouldn’t that be a trip!
I was a bit giddy, even though the more practical side of me knew it wasn’t real.
Then, on Saturday, I got up early and ran some errands. When I returned, Troy was gone. “Where’s your Dad,” I asked the kids. The answer I got was that he said he had to run some errands. I texted him, “Where are you?” I got no reply.
I went to Drew’s room. “Drew, come here. Do you know where your dad is?”
Drew: “No, but he’s been gone a couple hours.”
Me: “Well, he’s not replying to my text about where he is. Oh my gosh, Drew, is that lottery ticket still on the desk? Maybe he’s driven to Missouri to collect his reward!”
Drew headed down to the computer desk about the same time I heard the garage door going up. Troy walked in the back door about the same time Drew came up holding that darn ticket. We all looked at each other, and then the dream ended.
Troy didn’t know where the ticket had come from. Probably under another folder or something and just hadn’t gotten thrown away. And he hadn’t had time to drive to Missouri. He was just getting some new work boots.
Neither Drew nor I really believed that Troy had won the lottery - but what is Christmas for, if not for dreaming.
(Marlys Barker is editor of the Nevada Journal and Tri-County Times.)