Some Children

It's tough watching fathers and sons sit in the bleachers, smiling like a couple catfish.

Children are the happiest creatures on earth. And when they're sad, they're the saddest ones.

If you are a fatherless child, I wish I could give you money. And I mean a lot. For boys: ten million dollars, cash. Maybe that would help make up for some of what you’ll lack in life.

Probably not, but it’s a start.

I hope somehow, it makes baseball games more fun. Those are hard. It’s tough watching fathers and sons sit in the bleachers, smiling like a couple catfish.

Or, when the concession man walks by, and someone’s father yells, “Two bags of peanuts!” before reaching for his wallet. Such small things go unnoticed by the rest of the world. Not to us.

We’ve been buying our own peanuts for a long time.

To the fatherless girl: fifty million. It’s not nearly enough, but it’ll have to do, since there are lots of fatherless girls out there.

You need your daddies more than us boys. A decent, overprotective father, who gives good piggy-back rides.

More than that. You need someone to remind you of how pretty you are. It’s easy to forget. Someone to wait on the porch when Joe Freckle-Face comes to pick you up for a date. Who warns this boy, you’re not just a girl in the passenger seat—you’re the entire world wearing a dress.

Kids without mothers: you get hundreds of billions of dollars. Maybe more. Because when you have no mother, you have no compass. You’ll walk in circles, wondering if anyone gives a damn.

Few people do.

I knew a boy whose mother died during childbirth. He grew up in a house absent of frilly things. He’d tear out magazine perfume ads and keep them for later. He told me once, he liked to smell them at night, imagining he was falling asleep next to his mother.

I think about him sometimes.

When I do, there’s a restless feeling I get. This feeling gets strongest when I see families who don’t look very happy. Maybe they’re tired of each other, or annoyed. They spend suppers on their smartphones, or forget to cheer for their home-run hitters.

I have an urge to say, “Look! This is it! You’re missing it.”

But then, who am I? I’m just one more idiot in the world with his own perspective. Some people just don’t have time for their families. Maybe these folks didn’t grow up buying their own peanuts at ball games. It’s not their fault.

Either way, I hope that one day they realize how much they have, because there is nothing better.


Not even hundreds of billions.

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