March 20, 2052
An assisted-living cabana in Bora Bora. I am in and out of sleep, but when Sadie and Simon come to visit my hospital room, I am aware they are there. I can hear them talking, so I pretend to be sleeping peacefully like sick people do in the movies. I want to hear what they are saying. (Jeff is out playing golf, because he’s younger than I am, and I am not that sick; it’s just a little shuffle board accident, but my kids were kind enough to come and visit.)
Here’s what I hear:
Sadie: Simon, remember that summer we didn’t do anything?
Simon: How could I forget? Actually, how could I remember? It was 2012.
Sadie: We watched all of our friends go on vacations to exotic islands and Disney World, but we didn’t go anywhere except the front yard! And we didn’t even get to do that very often.
Simon: We were robbed. Mom and Dad wouldn’t even put us in the car and take us to the Wisconsin Dells and that was only a 3-hour car ride. Wimps!
Sadie: Remember when Mom tried to convince us that the rain shower in her bathroom was as fun as going to a real pool?
Simon: Did she think we were that dumb?
Sadie: Well, we got her back. Remember how we never let her listen to her own music?
Simon: We showed her. If she wasn’t going to take us anywhere, we were going to make her listen to “Shoo Fly Don’t Bother Me,” 100 times a day. I think Mom hurt herself doing the hokey pokey. She shouldn’t have gotten so into it when it was time to “put your whole self in.”
Me: [Gentle rasping cough to scare them. I am still bitter about that summer’s musical misery.]
Sadie: Mom! Mom! Are you ok? It’s me and Simon. We came to see you when we heard about your bingo accident.
Simon: I think it was shuffle board.
Sadie: Whatever. Some old people game. Mom was so clumsy, she could make a bingo game fatal.
Simon: I loved watching mom go ballistic when I refused to say “Mom,” but I could say “Daddy,” and “Costco,” and our nanny’s name.
Sadie: That was kind of mean, but it was so funny. How about how I carried around all of my clean underwear in her favorite purse? Then, Mom could never find it when it was time for me to wear it.
Simon: Now that was mean. She spent half the summer looking for your underwear!
Sadie: She probably should have figured out what I was doing with it sooner. But, she’s not the sharpest knife in the child-proofed drawer. I remember hiding my urine-soaked Pull-up diapers behind my bed. She went bonkers trying to figure out why my room smelled like the elevator at the train station where homeless people pee. She thought the diaper Genie was broken.
Simon: Damn. We were so good.
Sadie: I kind of feel bad.
Simon: Me too.
Me: [Maniacal laughter] GOTCHA!!!!!! Let’s get out of here and try to make dinner at the main cabana. It’s almost 4PM. They stop serving at 4:30!