Lying in Lyle’s bed tonight as he bounced on his knees and flip-flopped like a fish on dry land (the after-effects of a lot of Thanksgiving soda and two slices of pie), I tried to shift the subject of conversation from how much allowance I owed him to what charity he would like to give his money to this Christmas. You see, each week I set aside a dollar for each of the kids and at some point in the year they can give it to the charity of their choice. It rapidly became clear, however, that Lyle didn’t exactly have a grasp on the definition of charity organizations, as these were the ideas he offered:
1) “The Army”. Rationale: So they can buy more guns! [Oh, swell.]
2) “Some Louisiana Fundraiser”. Rationale: Because it’s the state that starts with “L” like my name so it’s my favorite state! [Here his bouncing was accompanied by some old kindergarten song about how your left index finder and thumb make the letter “L” but I didn’t hear it clearly as I was beginning to bury my head under the pillow, wondering where I had gone wrong with this kid.]
3) “The Lyle Health Organization”. Rationale: They could give me some sort of chip that would let me get out of dangerous situations every time.
4) “Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk”. Rationale: If someone really fat sits on the roller coaster and breaks it, they could fix it before I get there again.
5) “Activision”. Rationale: They make Skylanders. Maybe if I give them my money they’ll be able to create another figure.
Once he stopped listing his amazing ideas [believe me, this went on for a while, I just can’t remember them all] and I caught my breath from laughter and came out from under the pillow, he asked suddenly, “Well, then what IS a charity?”
I believe he landed on a local animal shelter, although I wouldn’t rule out his $52 ending up in Louisiana somehow.