I’ve already warned you we are the absolute worst.
Y’all, there’s no way we didn’t make the naughty list this year.
Ooh, fun side story before I tell you about what horrible people we are!
When Offspring was teeny, we were crossing the glass bridge to Elitch Gardens* when a train passed below. We stopped to watch—because he was at that age all boys seem to go through where they are fascinated with trains—and noticed this was a coal train. Husband commented (probably incorrectly, who can tell?) that this train was headed North. Obviously, we concluded, carrying all that coal to the North Pole.
Offspring regarded this endless supply of coal with wide, somber eyes.
“That’s a lot of coal,” I commented.
“Probably only one good little boy or girl in the whole world, with that much coal going up,” Husband chimed.
“Yeah,” Offspring breathed. “I wonder who it is?”
Hang on, I’ve just realized I didn’t come off great in that story either. Fuck. Okay, look: some people had kids so they could share their love with a new generation or whatever but I really just wanted a gullible brain to warp. I stand by my parenting choices, dammit, even if he is still a little confused about where butter comes from.
Husband and I, as you will recall, were trapped in a car for just the longest goddamned drive recently. Not that I’m not happy to make it just as often as we are able, but…
Illinois, do you think you could do something about your, you know, everything?
ME: Ugh, how are we still in Illinois?
HIM: …It’s the longest part of this drive.
ME: It’s the most boring part of this drive.
ME: Missouri and Wisconsin should be closer together.
HIM: That’s an excellent idea. You should talk to whomever can move states.
HIM: (sees me thinking, begins to worry)
ME: I’ll ask Obama.
HIM: (laughs) Illinois is still there? Thanks Obama!
Right. So you know how you get bored in the car and your mind sort of… wanders?
Well, if you are a terrible person with a brain full of awful, married to someone just like you, it goes like this:
HIM: I wonder if a Make-A-Wish kid ever wished to live.
HIM: Sorry, random dark thought.
ME: No, you mean like, “if you could have anything Billy, what would you wish for?” “A cure for cancer.” “Oh. Well. How ‘bout a trip to Disneyland?”
ME: I feel like… I mean, they must screen for that but I feel like there was a case…
HIM: Where they cured cancer?
ME: No, but I remember something about a Make-A-Wish kid who was, like, an asshole?
ME: Or like really ungrateful or something? And his family was… yeah. I don’t know, I can’t remember any of the specifics now so I feel bad even bringing it up.
HIM: It’s no worse than mine!
ME: Right, but… Okay, you know how they’re always like, “oh, I feel like we’re the lucky ones; we just feel so blessed to have met this great kid, and he’s got such an incredible spirit, so inspiring” and all that?
HIM: Not this kid?
HIM: They’re all, “Cancer can have him!”
ME: Except… I’m pretty sure he didn’t even have cancer. Like, I remember thinking, “oh, this kid’s got years left, that’s why he’s an asshole.” Which, you know, probably makes me the asshole.
HIM: Which is usually my job!
* I remember that detail specifically, though it is absolutely irrelevant to the story and you can feel free to disregard it. Unless you live in or near Denver, in which case you should feel a brief moment of “I know exactly where they were!” before completely disregarding it as irrelevant to the story at hand. Because it is. In fact, I don’t even remember why we weren’t parked in the main lot, since we had season passes and those come with permits—were they paving? Did we have something else going on that day at the Pepsi Center and it was just as easy to cross on foot? None of this matters, I cannot emphasize that enough.