Right at that moment Lori showed up and I told her, “I won!” Caught up in the excitement I looked over the prizes and asked her what should I get? This seemed a little strange because I had no use for a motorized scooter. So still excited I shifted gears and asked her who should we give one to? We started going through the list of nephews and nieces, carefully considering who deserved such a tremendous gift, who didn’t, and why, along with concern of how the other nieces and nephews would feel if they weren’t chosen.
While I was answering his questions and he was telling me how if he won he would get the electric scooter because he had one but his mom ran over it, my wife was standing between us with her back to him and facing me. She started “signaling” me, you know, like wives do when they want to tell you something extremely important and urgent but don’t want anyone else to know. “Give it to him, give it to him,” she was whispering and signaling. I was in that in-between state of talking with the boy while trying to make sense of her signals. This is where it becomes obvious to everyone around that my wife is “signaling” me, and it usually makes her mad. “Really?” I said to her out loud. “Yes!” she said, like I was a bozo, which I can be more often than not, “who are we going to give it to? He’ll love it.” I got the message.
I asked the boy, “What one would you pick?” “I’d get the black one.” I turned to the girl working the stand and said, “Give him the black one.” The boy was oblivious and was telling Lori the details on how his mom ran over his skateboard when the girl presented him with the brand new one in the box. He was in shock. He asked me why I didn’t want it and told me that I could have a lot of fun with it. I said I was too old and he would have way more fun than me. Then he offered me his dollar since that is how much I used to play. I declined and the last thing he said was, “Thanks, wow!”
He walked away and as I watched him, Lori said, “you just made his summer.” And that became the best summer I ever had at the shore as an adult thanks to an idea to record a memory, an unexpected stroke of luck, a young boy just starting out, and a nudge from a loving wife with way more insight than I.