Still waiting for the sea monkeys

By Staff
Leada DeVaney, Hartselle Enquirer
Sitting on my coffee table at home is a Christmas wish list from Derek, Greg's 13-year-old son.
It's a relatively short list, about 5-6 things. And while the list isn't long, he's certainly not aiming low.
"Final Fantasy 10 Sony Playstation."
"Internet converter for X-Box."
"Computer (laptop) with internet access."
"He might as well forget that one," Greg said Sunday night as we talked about the list. "What does he need with a laptop anyway? We'd never see him. He would just sit at the computer and play all day."
"But what if that's what he really, really wants and needs and we don't get it for him?" I asked.
"He will survive without it," Greg said. "After all, I didn't get my horse."
And that's what led to the story of the horse and the plastic frog.
Greg said when he was a child, he really wanted one of those stick horses, the kind where there's a horse head on a broomstick. That seemed like a pretty reasonable request, but for some reason, that Christmas request just fell through the cracks.
It was years later – about 40 to be exact- that his mom got him a horse on a stick.
And then there was the plastic frog.
"I was staying with my grandparents and we stopped at one of those gas stations with the little stores and there was a plastic frog on a rubber band and I really wanted it," Greg said. "My grandfather said he wasn't paying $2 for a plastic frog and I never got it. I really wanted that frog."
He must have. Some 40 years later, he still remembers not getting that plastic $2 frog.
"Wasn't there something you wanted that you didn't get?" he asked.
My mind started racing.
"Yes," I replied. "I wanted some Mexican jumping beans and some sea monkeys. They always kept the Mexican jumping beans by the check out counter at the grocery store and I always wanted some but they cost $1 for a little box and no one would buy me any.
"It was pretty much the same story with the sea monkeys. I always thought those were the neatest things. I never got any. It wasn't until a long time later – when I bought some for someone else – that I realized all you really get is some water with some small creatures about the size of dust flailing around."
We sat back and looked at Derek's list.
"He's not getting the laptop," his dad said. "That's a lot more than a plastic frog or Mexican jumping beans."
"That's fine," I replied. "Just be prepared if one day he writes a story about us."

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