The Richest Man in the World

Reading over my recent posts, I see that I have a tendency to come across as a cranky old man at times. That’s strange, because in person, you’d see that I’m really not that way. At least, not most of the time.

We had a beautiful day here yesterday. 70 degrees on the way home, sun shining, a blackbird trilling in the red-leafed cherry tree outside my office window. On the way home, I decided to avoid the Interstate, and I took a two-lane back road that winds through the hills of western St. Louis County. I rolled down the windows and opened the moon roof (don’t be impressed; it’s a Hyundai), and I enjoyed the cool, pine-scented breeze and the sound of the crickets in the weeds as I drove home.

I was greeted at the door by my wife, who kissed me with a passion that belied our nearly six years of marriage, and three happy dogs jumping with joy that I had come home. Our 13-year-old daughter was entertaining some friends on the back patio, where I overheard her tell her friends that she wanted to stay home after dinner because she wanted to spend time with me.

“Why?” a boy asked.

“Because I like to,” she answered.

“Your dad?

“Yeah!”

“Doesn’t that get old? You can do that every night.”

“No way,” she said. “He’s cool!”

“Ha! I bet.”

“Does your dad play video games with you? Or watch cartoons with you?”

“Uh…no.”

“There you are.”

Now, for the record, we do more together than watch cartoons and play video games. She was just pulling out the heavy artillery to make her point (although I can hold my own on “Super Smash Brothers Melee”, and she’s got me hooked on “Spongebob Squarepants” and “Invader Zim”).

But as I listened to this exchange, I was struck by a powerful truth: I am the richest man in the world.

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