Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Awesome! 26 cents.

     This story goes back a few years ago when my youngest, Nolan, was even younger. He captured that enthusiasm that morning that can only come with being 4 or 5 and unencumbered with the world's problems.  

     I get up early every day.  Now that's not to say I beat my wife up, she gets up before me about 5/7 days, but I have always found little value in sleep, so I still get up early on the weekends too.  (To clarify, I don't beat my wife up, I just get out of bed sometimes before her).  On this particular Saturday morning, I was watching the beginning of the Today show, in my Lazy Boy, coffee in hand, when Nolan, covered from head to toe in his Sponge Bob pajamas, came bounding down the stairs. He launched himself up into the air and landed on the couch, legs bent beneath him.  When he landed, he heard a small jingling sound, and he reached in between the cushions to feel what it could be.
I caught this guy in my backyard with one of my ancient Grecian urns.

  When his tiny hand came back out, it was clutching a few items and had a harder time coming out of the cushions, than it did going in (A small aside, I've heard they catch monkeys this way, by boring a small hole in a tree, and placing large nuts inside A big jug with a small opening can work too.  The monkey can't get their paws out, while they are wrapped around the nut, and they are slow to release the nut, hence they are trapped).  Nolan's hand that morning held exactly two coins, a quarter, and a penny.

     "Awesome, 26 cents1" he exclaimed, and he immediately ran back upstairs to deposit it into his bank. He had been up for all of 2 minutes on that lazy Saturday morning, and he already had his first adventure in the bank, oh and 26 cents too.  He bounded down the stairs again, but bypassed the living room this time, and went into the kitchen.

"Dad, do we have a flashlight ?" he inquired. I paused my show, and I showed him where to find it, but now my curiosity was peaked, so I hung around to see where this might be heading. He bent over and started shining the light through the 3 holes cut into our cupboard base, for a heat run.  He found a marble, a dusty army man, and then exclaimed, "Dad, I think I see Dinosaur Bones !"  Well, I am no anthropologist, but I am pretty sure that my house was built well after there was any chance of dinosaurs coming in, hiding in my cupboard base and expiring there.  It's not my job to burst his bubble, so a second later, I was on the floor peering into the back of the cupboard, and sure enough there were dinosaur bones there.  They were small, resembling more of a rodent than a stegosaurus, but they did look pretty authentic to my untrained eye. It was at this point, we both heard my wife stirring upstairs.  We must have woken her with all the activity that morning.  Oh, this was going to be good.....

     A little background on my wife's morning habits is in order.  We don't talk to my wife ..... until she has her second cup of coffee.  She does not approach the sunrise with the same unbridled enthusiasm that my son exhibits, for her, it's more like the seven stages of grief, when she wakes.
  There is Denial "What time is it? No it can't be that late."  Then there is Anger, "Why do i have to get up this early!"  There is Bargaining "Can't you go to work for me?"  Depression is next, " WHHYYYY?"  She eventually gets around to the Acceptance and Hope, but the journey isn't a pretty one, and she rarely does it before the second injection of Java.  I knew that Nolan wasn't going to be able to hold his news until the required time, and as a matter of fact, before I could stop him he yelled upstairs "Mom, come quick, you GOTTA see this"  We have an expression in our house about not poking the bear, but unfortunately for Nolan, I hadn't taught this to him yet.  Heretofore, I didn't know how many steps there were coming down from my upstairs, but that morning, I heard every one of them, and counted them like it was a gallows walk.  Dean Man Walking.  In my fear, I was slow to react when Nolan scooted around me to go greet his Mother.  I learned that morning, that some parents have that natural instinct to throw themselves in front of a grenade that is hurled at their kids, but then some don't.  I stood where I was, and awaited the explosion.

     When my wife came around the corner, with a smile on her face, I couldn't hide my surprise.  I learned immediately of the power of  an "Awesome, 26 cents" kinda morning, and how contagious it could be.  A moment later, my wife was bent over peering into the vent holes looking for our dinosaur (I know she bent over because I watched her).
Not the actual Yarger Dinosaur, but it's close
Nolan told her of his monetary gain as well, and she politely listened to the story of the find.  The TV remained paused, so many times, that eventually I lost my place and that morning's news was lost entirely.  That lazy, predictable, Saturday had suddenly turned into an adventure filled morning, and our expedition leader had swapped out his Indiana Jones hat for a Sponge Bob butt flap.  It remains to this day, one of my most memorable mornings, thanks to Nolan and his passion and his imagination.  It's not every morning, after all, that you excavate a dinosaur, and tame a bear, all before 7:30. 

      I'll wrap this up with a question or two of my own.  What prevents us from waking up each morning to an "Awesome, 26 cents" kinda feeling?  Do we lose this ability as we age, or do we learn to push it down, and stifle it?  Do we become what we used to hate, someone who has to look at the down side of everything, and point out just have awful each morning is?  I don't really have the answers myself, but I have experienced an "Awesome, 26 cents" kinda day, and seen it's effects, so I am a believer.  We each have the ability in us, to have that kind of morning, each morning, but like all muscles that don't get used often, you may have to exercise it.  Start slow, with some stretching, I hear that helps.  If this were my friend Tor's blog, he'd certainly have connected the story with God by this point   I can clearly hear him saying, "It's a lesson in appreciating the smallest of gifts that a loving God can give us each morning" or he'd tie it into the story of the children coming to Jesus, and the crowd trying to turn them away, but being rebuffed by Jesus.  Jesus knew the value that a small child can have, to your soul, your attitude, and your well being.  Tor would say all that, me, the other hand, am just going to close with, it's okay if you don't clean out your couch cushions that often, and get that vacuum into every nook and cranny in the house, cuz if you did, you might not have an "Awesome, 26 cents" kinda day. 


Anonymous said...

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Nolan said...

Actually Dad you told a lot of that wrong. The 26 cents were not in the couch, they were in the cup holder. The bear was not mom it was molly and she demanded that I give her her 26 cents back immediately. Also the dinosaur bones were in fact just a distraction and a figment of my imagination. I was hoping that you wouldn't remember that i was supposed to do work that day! Oh and also what the heck is Montanna talking about?????????????

Nolan said...

Oh nevermind the last few sentences i checked with mom, and there were actually were actually bones in there.

Daphne Mays said...

How did I miss this awesome one?! Another God tie in is that God makes children (and puppies and kittens and such) cute for a reason. It is so that when they wake up the sleeping Momma bear she doesn't kill them. ;) Mine have passed that cute stage now. They are all teens. I'm pretty sure that (some) teens are what suck the adventure out of a day. My sense of adventure still peeks out from time to time, but I hope that soon, when the particular teen is gone, that I'll be able to have those types of days more often.

cdyarger said...

This will always be one of my favorite stories. For the longest time if we were having a good day, or even a good moment, we would comment "Awesome, 26 cents!!!".