Regrets at the Age of Nine


“Murmithiplethurm.”

I asked Daniel to take his mouth guard out.  We were still 15 minutes away from his flag football practice.  He sighed, loud enough to hear over the roaring defroster and the pouring rain.

“What’s up, kiddo?” I asked.

He sighed again.  “I’ve never had a Fruit Roll-Up,” he said.  “They’re really good.”  I’ve seen them advertised on television; apparently Daniel was using a definition of “good” I wasn’t familiar with.  He looked out the window.  “All my friends eat Fruit Roll-Ups.  Not me.”

“Well, I’ve never had a Fruit Roll-Up either,” I said.  That didn’t make him feel any better.

“We never get Lunchables,” he complained.  That is true; we don’t buy the little pre-packaged stuff.  It’s not that we are morally opposed to them, but they are awfully expensive for what you get.

“You don’t even like Lunchables,” I remembered.

“Frispethlummel.”

I asked him to take his mouth guard out again and repeat what he said.

“I’ve never had Trix yet,” Daniel cried.  “Not even Trix Yogurt!”  I explained he was young.  He had his whole life ahead of him.  It sounds like fun to get everything you want and do everything you want all at once.  But then you don’t have anything else to look forward to.

“If you try new things one at a time, every so often,” I said, “you’ll have plenty of things to try throughout your whole life.”

“You’re on Weight Watchers,” said Daniel.  “You don’t try new things anymore because they have too many points.”

“Daniel,” I said finally, “put your mouth guard back in.”

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