Maybe we’ll get a bigger piggy bank
Shaking his plastic piggy bank, our son James is quick to tell you why he is saving up his money.
He is going to buy an excavator. He says it with such certainty and authority that there is no way you can doubt him. For some reason owning one of these large earth moving machines has been a goal of his for years – even before he could say it. I can remember when he used to tell us he wanted an “excabatah.”
And with $54 in the bank, he feels that he is getting pretty close to having enough money.
James may not realize just how expensive an excavator runs these days (probably more than our house), but I can’t help but smile when I see how excited he gets at the possibility of buying one in the near future.
I can remember the joy of finding that loose penny in the couch or that shiny nickel in the dryer. You really hit the jackpot when you found a quarter discarded on the kitchen table.
I had a bank that was shaped like the head of Mr. T from the A Team. There was a slot on top of his mohawk where you shoved your coins. That bank sat on top of my bookcase at my grandparents’ house until I was a teenager.
Like James, I had goals of what I wanted to buy with my collection. My goals may not have been quite as ambitious, but I had my wish list.
It was raining one Saturday, and with nothing to do, Maw Maw thought it was as good a time as any to hit the Sack & Save in Brookhaven. We would be inside out of the rain, and Maw Maw loved to spend money even if that meant loading up on canned goods or hamburger meat. It didn’t matter to her as long as it involved shopping.
I had grown tired of saving my money, and I asked if I could take my change with me to buy me whatever I wanted. After I was given permission, I ripped the plastic cap off the bottom of my Mr. T bank. Filling about five small Ziploc bags with my change, I rushed out the door. The money was burning a hole in my pocket, and I needed to spend it.
At the end of the day, I was exhausted and ready to head back to Monticello. My belly was full of an entire plate of green beans I ordered from the deli. I ate that whole thing, sitting under the grocery cart. Being able to sit where you normally put a bag of dog food, I watched the shoppers above me as I gulped down spoon after spoon of bacon grease-soaked snap beans.
My next purchase was a paper doll book I found near the magazine racks. I had a hard time determining if I wanted to take my paper girl on a sailboat or on an Asian tour. In the end, I settled for the sailboat collection.
Then I grabbed the latest Archie comic, a box of powdered doughnuts, a soda pop and a package of Stage Planks. I almost had enough to get a Flintstone sherbert Push-Up. Maw Maw said my credit was good, so she loaned me some change.
By the end of the day, all I had to show for my bank was a stomach ache and a paper doll that was already missing a leg. Turns out I already had the same Archie comic.
James is already showing much more will power with his money than I ever had. He has a goal, and he is going to reach it. He doesn’t have time for snap beans or comic books. He needs an excavator.
More importantly, he has a dream.
Completely unaware of how truly unattainable that excavator may be, James has that child-like determination that often seems to disappear when you get older.
Nothing is impossible, and anything can be done.
It’s funny how a simple piggy bank, a lone penny and a wide grin made me think about reaching your dreams.
And as I tuck away some change to give him tonight, the dream begins to seem more real.
I may just have to buy him a bigger bank if we are going to do this thing right. From what I hear, Mr. T is making a comeback.