It’s Monday and in three days Eli will be visiting Papa and Gigi again. His mom had a meeting and It would end late.
One of the things he looked forward to (other than Mac and Cheese and a mini-cone) was his regular bag of change that Papa collected (along with a stray dollar or two) to give him; “Provided he takes it to the bank”….. where there was an account set up in his name.
It seemed, to Eli however, that just a lot of pennies and a few bills, would take a long time to amount to anything, and there were any number of things he wanted now.. It is not that his mom didn’t get him what he needed, but she had cautioned him lately that because of their new house purchase, she was “going to have to be careful” about spending.
So, he always did what Papa had suggested after the routine lecture about life being “like a ladder” You take it a step at a time and you really enjoy it when you get “it”. While waiting was not always fun, Eli kinda got the idea. So, he regularly took his bags to the bank and they gave him a paper that told him what he had. He was amazed that in the last few months he had deposited over $50.00.
The bank people were surprised to see that a boy of seven had managed to save as much as he had. They encouraged him and promised that sometime they would have a special gift for him……Yeah, more waiting, he thought.
Well, this had gone on for many months… then a year…. and on; until he had $500.00. He would pull out his bank book and say to himself; Amazing! Pennies do turn into dollars. But the question was; “What am I saving for?. This would buy something cool right now. I can always start over again.
It was on his ninth birthday that he he suggested to his mom when she asked; “What would you like as a present?”
Everyone had been talking about going to camp, and his friends had been signing up. They reminded him that he had better do it too. So, he asked his mother “Can I go as a present?” She asked him how much it would cost. He said “only $250.00.”
His mom replied; “Eli, I would love you to go, but we will have to forget it for the time being: “There will be another year.” Eli was so disappointed, even angry, that he would have to stay home. He would have to tell his friends, and he did.
It was coming close to the time for the camp trip, and he felt really sad.
Then, he suddenly realized that he had the answer; It was in the bank! When he went there for the money, the teller asked what he was going to do with it. She was totally amazed that he was going to pay for his own trip. Eli was pleased and proud knowing he still had money left for “whatever”.
His mother was so excited….. you would think she was going to camp. And, she hugged him saying “Here I thought you were just a young boy, but you are really a young man that I can trust to do things for himself.”
Eli smiled, “Grandpa was right; It does feel great!’
He followed with another hug and the promise to mom; “And, next year I’m taking you to the beach”. And, they did go, but it was “on her”.
Time passed. He is now 17, and his attention has shifted pretty dramatically; His goal became an “OLD, 70’s red Corvette.”
Mom smiled and gambled “Bet you a dollar he gets it …….and, before college!”.
His message to Grandpa ? “Haul out your tools Papa, we gotta start pretty soon, and it will have to be a really serious fixer-upper with my budget. ”
“And, don’t forget the red paint …..and YOUR ladder this time!”
“It will be a pretty tall order.”