Birthday time is approaching for our grandson. What does a seven-year-old boy desire these days? I’m so certain that he would jump with delight at a contribution to his college fund. Or maybe not.
I think back a year when his mom mentioned that they were going to have a party and ask that people consider giving to the epilepsy foundation in lieu of gifts. They were so thankful for the fact that Austin’s seizures had stopped but had concern for less-fortunate children who will be medicated for life to avoid seizures.
Austin seemed somewhat concerned and whispered to me that I didn’t need to listen to his mom. I could still buy him a present. He’s actually a very giving, loving child but no birthday presents for a six-year-old was a bit beyond his comprehension of being a good thing. His mom really hadn’t intended that there would be no gifts from Grandma but they ended up not following through with that alternative gift suggestion.
So what does Austin want? Notice I didn’t say NEED. His mother emailed me a link as I wasn’t understanding the Kung Zhu pet language. His aunt also received the link and called to say why waste the money? Wouldn’t these little toys end up lost, broken or forgotten within a day? How long would he care?
So I decided to ask Austin directly. Oh my gosh! Did I ever find out in a big hurry his take on the deal. He has no idea what his strong confident enthusiastic voice across the phone line does to me, no matter what the topic at hand concerns. Our conversation went something like this:
Me: Austin, I have a question for you and wondered if I might ask your opinion.
Austin: Sure, Grandma. What’s up?
Me: Well I’ve been looking at some Zhu pets and I really don’t know what they’re about.
Austin: Oh Grandma, they’re awesome!
Me: Well I’ve been thinking about how you don’t pick up your toys and how things get lost so fast and how they get broken. Sometimes when you say you really want something, you really don’t care about it when you get it.
Austin: Oh Grandma, you will not believe how responsible I would be. I would build a container at After School Club to keep them in. It would never be a problem. Oh Grandma, I really want the Special Forces . . . . . whatever and whatever. Do you have your computer handy?
Yikes. Was what I had looked at what he wants? Oh, that’s right. His Mom was the one who informed me and she gets a daily dose of his desires.
Me: I saw something about a hamster set? Is that what you want?
Austin: Awesome! They’re like little mice. Oh yeah, hamsters. That’s it. And . . . and . . . and . . .something about Ninja . . . and . . . (His description went on and on with intense enthusiasm.)
Austin: And there’s a thing like a house.
Me: An arena?
Austin: That’s exactly it. How did you know? Did you see it on the computer or in real life? I know that Imperial is a long way to drive to Sidney.
Me: Sidney? What’s in Sidney?
Austin: Well that’s where my friend, Gabby, got hers. She thought they were about gone. So I better hang up so you can go to Sidney. Bye. I love you.
Me: Wait, Austin. I’m not going to Sidney. But I’ll be thinking about whether this is something you’ll take care of.
Austin: Absolutely, Grandma. You can count on me.
Me: Have a good day at school. Bye. I love you.
Ring . . . .
Austin: Grandma, you hung up before I could tell you something. I think there’s a way that you can get them on the computer. I think it takes money though. I don’t know for sure how it works but somehow you can put money in the computer. Do you want me to ask my mom?
And so the story goes in the eyes of a child. I sure hope he enjoys the Zhu Ninja whatever creatures that I’ll no doubt eventually know more about. If he likes them even half as much as I adored our conversation, it will be worth it.
Have fun being seven, Austin. Can’t wait to hear more of your opinions!!
LORI PANKONIN is co-publisher of Johnson Publications newspapers in Imperial, Wauneta and Grant, and part-owner of the Holyoke Enterprise in Holyoke, Colo. E-mail: ljpank@chase 3000.com