Money Store Man

Sometimes it seems like yesterday that I was a young(ish) lad, energized by idealism, prowling the cobble-stoned streets of Cambridge in my vegan loafers. Of course, it wasn’t yesterday; it was almost four years ago. And to be totally honest, most of the time it feels like if it was 100 years ago or that perhaps it never even happened at all. 

You see, for one very brief year (really less than a year, but let’s not totally minimize it) I walked amongst some of the greatest minds in the world. In every pub and coffee shop were men and women that were going places. Future CEOs, professors, doctors, writers, they were all there, sitting beside me on the train. Some, like me ostensibly, were preparing to help solve the world’s biggest problems: poverty, inequality, disease.
Flash forward four years. Where I’ve ended up is probably somewhat unexpected, more so from the perspective of a stranger looking at my resume than for those who know me very well, but a little abnormal none the less. I’m still surrounded by some of the greatest minds in the world, but now they belong to three people I’m related to and with whom I share a home. And while I certainly do my share of problem solving every day, rather than trying to come up with ways to provide clean water to Haiti, the problems I tackle tend to be more of the how-to-prepare-a-meal-that-a-3-year-old-will-eat-without-murdering-me or how-to-persuade-a-3-year-old-to-traverse-an-imaginary-canyon-in-an-imaginary-desert-before-we-die-of-dehydration-or-go-insane variety.

Still, a little piece of that young idealist lives on, and he is starting to do what every self-respecting parent does: project his ideals and ambitions onto his children. Because, as anyone familiar with the Cambridge Development Studies department can attest, overreach of the global capitalistic machine is an albatross hanging around our collective necks, I have begun a subtle campaign to introduce this key issue to my 3-year-old.

How’s it going so far? Well…

The good news: a recent sketch J had us run leads me to believe that he has no real idea of what money is. So far, so good.

J: “Daddy, come to my money store! I'm the Money Store Man!”
Me: “OK. Here I am.”
J: “You have to knock!”
Me: Knock, knock, knock
J: “You have to sing the money store song!”
Me: Without missing a beat. “Oh money store…open up your door!”

Quick aside: The acoustics in the money store (dining room) are outstanding. I’ve never sounded better…and that’s saying something because my singing is always on point. Anyway…

J: “Come in!”
Me: Opens imaginary door using universal imaginary-door-opening motion 
J: “Hi Daddy! Do you want to buy some money from my money store?”
Me: “Oh yes!” Delivered in the style of Mr. Burns from The Simpsons saying "Excellent"
J: “I love money!!”
Me: Wait…
So frankly, as is usually the case, I have no idea where I stand. I’m either raising the next me or the next Warren Buffett. I suppose both possibilities have their pluses and minuses––well, certainly many minuses for the former and lots of pluses (and bank account zeroes) for the latter. Hey, maybe shooting for benevolent, capitalism-loving overlord should be the goal.
Let’s do this!