“Oh, dear. Bread and beer. If I were rich, I wouldn’t be here.” My grandma used to singsong this jingle when I was little. I would eagerly ask her where she would be. She was always quick to lock her fingers in mine and return a reminder that we could go wherever I wanted.
Now that I’m older, I’ve started to think on this again. Where would I be? What would I do? How would I answer her question? My greatest wish would be to spend one more day with her. But if I can’t do that, the least I could do is come up with an answer to her question.
I finally know how the riddle ends, Nana. You know, what I would do if I were rich. I would play school just like we used to.
You remember, right? Of course you do. We played approximately 124,941 times. Since it was the 80s, I had those awful waxy dolls. You know them. Buddy and Sis. The boy was always naughty, and it was perfectly fitting because if Chuckie had a blonde fraternal twin who wore cleaner overalls, it would have been Buddy.
You always let me be the teacher while you played the role of the mom who had to ferry Buddy home when he was extra bad. You were also the bus driver. Remember how we used to hook the caster chairs together and scoot around the kitchen? I took your advice. I never did tell Mom because how many times can someone hear “chairs are for sitting, not rolling”?
When I’m done making my passion my work, I hope to do it again. Whether that’s in ten years or thirty, I want to keep teaching. But my teaching might look a little different then.
I want to open a library in a town where kids don’t have access to books. I’m not sure if I imagine this place in the United States or somewhere far around the world. Two summers ago, your favorite* grandson-in-law and I visited a little library in a small beach town in Mexico where someone created a similar program. The schools there are so overcrowded and understaffed that the community had many kids who weren’t learning. They weren’t even going to school. So one woman decided to change all that.
She works with locals and volunteers from around the world to put on programs for kids. They do art projects, sing songs, play dress up, and read. This one-room library fills their heads and their hearts with words. I want to do that, too. I want all kids to have the opportunity to fall in love with books, to know what it feels like to daydream and play like we used to.
Before you tell me you’re worried about me, I promise I’ll be safe. And I know you’ll also ask about money. You were so worried when I bought my new car. I can only imagine how nervous this would make you. You’ll ask me where the money will come from. Where will you get the capital for your business? If I’m not spending my own money, I could fundraise. I know, I know. You’re the baker, not me. So perhaps I’d have to get a loan from a bank or a company like Kikka Capital. Or I could use some of my savings to get started. I’m a smart cookie. You said so yourself. I could come up with a real business plan. But hey, this is a fantasy, and I’m already rich. You said so yourself.
If I were rich, where would I be? I’d be somewhere in the world still doing what I love. I’d create a place where kids would learn and read, sing and dance. A place where anything is possible if only they have someone to help them make believe.
*PS – I also know that you called everyone your favorite. Just like I know there aren’t really five aces in cards and you let me win. Maybe that means I was your favorite favorite.
So Tell Me…Where will you be when you’re rich? What are your dreams big and small?
Note: Though Kikka Capital was gracious enough to indulge in my daydreams by sponsoring this post, all thoughts, memories, and future plans are mine.