The old saying, “Hindsight is 20/20” has meaning here. Today I look back and think, “Wow, I was an idiot when I was a kid.” Fortunately for me, my parents realized that I’d make stupid decisions.
I was about 10 years old and my family was spending time at the Jersey shore like we did every year. After spending the day playing in the sand and jumping through the waves, we’d walk into town after dinner and check out the local stores, maybe looking for a t-shirt, new toy, or towel.
While rummaging through one such five-and-dime, my parents came across a great little ceramic bank of a traffic light with a police officer holding his hand out giving a stop indication. In the meantime, I had found a sweet squirt gun that I thought was absolutely cool. Was it special? No. It was like any other crappy, cheap squirt gun that you’d find in any beach town store.
While I clutched the squirt gun in my hands, my parents presented me with the bank and a decision: I could take the squirt gun or the bank. After a brief moment of indecision I made up my mind. What would be cooler than… a blue squirt gun? Ten-year-old-me thought it was a good decision. You can see how clear that hindsight is now, especially since that squirt gut didn’t last more than a day in the salt water of the Jersey shore.
I don’t think I thought about that bank after that… At least until my parents surprised me with it as an Easter gift the following year. At that time, I doubt they though that my fascination with traffic lights would last as long as it has. I’m lucky to have parents that have the foresight to make sure that my dumb decision wasn’t something I’d later regret.