February 2, 2010
Jeb tells me that his friend at pre-school is having bad dreams. The teacher encourages the children to wish good thoughts for him so that he can have a more pleasant dreamtime.
Jeb tells me he wished for the friend to be dancing with fire ants.
“Why fire ants?” I ask.
“Because they stung me once.”
The next day at school the class checked in to see how his dreams were. He said he dreamt he was dancing with fire ants.
Later in the evening, Jeb and I log on to Netflix to watch an episode of Meerkat Manor. Striped fur and featherlight monkey tails all move in unison across the screen. Tonight they’re looking for a new burrow.
Jeb says, “I wish my dad and I could be Meerkats.”
“How come?” I say.
“Because if you have burrows, then you don’t need money for a home.”
The weight of his dad’s financial burdens reveals itself in aching sweetness. My heart skips a beat.
Still pondering the possibility of Meerkatness with a zip code in the Kalahari, he says “I guess we couldn’t watch movies, though.”