If there’s one thing Jeremy loves, it’s electronics. If something involves wires and circuits, it’s amazing. Beyond amazing… it’s the best thing ever. If you add solar panels, lights, or sound you can watch Jeremy soar to the stratosphere with excitement.
The two of us went for a walk on Friday night. We were in the middle of our local green space, talking about camping, when I suddenly realized our camping spot at Unicamp might not have electricity. We’ve never camped without electricity before. We camp in my parents’ tent trailer which has built in fans, ceiling lights, a sink, and a tiny electric fridge plus I bring a toaster so I can make english muffins for breakfast. Most importantly, we can plug in our phone chargers. You know… really roughing it. We’re going camping for a week this July. I’m lucky if my phone lasts for six hours. I can take pictures on my real camera but can’t exactly send Lenny 50 odd smoke signals a day.
“Jeremy? Where did we see that solar panel charger?” I asked idly. I should have known better because there’s nothing idle about Jeremy and electronics. But I knew we’d seen one recently and for a reasonable price too.
“Oh! At that new discount store! We should go there tonight and pick one up!” If zie could have opened a portal right there to the mall zie would have.
“It’s probably going to be too late tonight,” I pointed out. “I’m pretty sure the store closes at 8pm and it’s 7 o’clock now.”
Jeremy nodded and we walked a bit further down the trail. Suddenly zie let out a moan and staggered a little.
“What’s wrong?” I blurted, automatically checking for blood and/or dismemberment. I always go right to the worst case scenario. Everything looked okay but Jeremy had complained of a stomach ache before eating. Zie’d been fine ever since and did say it was probably from hunger. Maybe it had come back?
“These sandals are giving me a blister.” Zie slipped zir foot out of one shoe and showed me a blister. It looked fairly old and I thought it was from zir last pair, the ones we’d thrown out a week earlier, but it wasn’t like I’d sat there counting them and marking their locations.
“We can go home,” I pointed out, trying not to look longingly at the trail ahead. We’d only just started our walk and it was gorgeous out.
“It’s okay,” zie replied, “I can go a bit further.” Jeremy’s tone made it sound like zie was dragging zirself across the finish line by zir fingernails.
“There’s a short cut just up ahead,” I reminded zir. Jeremy perked right up.
We walked slowly toward home, stopping so I could take pictures of the trilliums and Jeremy could drive zir newest remote control car. It wasn’t until we were back on the sidewalk and zir car battery died that zie remembered the solar panel charger.
“We need to go to that store,” zie said urgently.
I slid my phone out and shook my head. “There’s only 20 minutes left until the store closes and we’re at least 15 minutes from home. We can go tomorrow after work.”
“I might not make it but I have to try.” Jeremy’s voice was firm and zie started walking even faster. Zie’s almost a foot taller than me, there was no way I was going to keep up.
“If you’re going to leave me behind, could you at least give me back my apartment keys?”
Jeremy rummaged through zir bag then handed them to me before running off. I watched zir sprint away without even a suggestion of a limp then shook my head and continued home.
Jeremy called as soon as I walked in the door to let me know they no longer had the solar panel charger and was going to check out Value Village just in case. It wasn’t a surprise when zie called back less than five minutes later.
“Mom, guess what I found at Value Village???”
“A puppy?” I had to guess something. Jeremy expects an answer even if there’s no way I could know. One thing I knew for sure was zie hadn’t found a charger there.
“No,” zir voice dripped with scorn. “I found a broadband radio!!!”
This was presumably the best thing in the world although I had no idea why.
“O-kayy? And this is good because?”
Mo-om… it means I can listen to both AM and FM radio and it has a CD drive and it has a USB port so I can plug in my MP3 player or my phone and it has a light!!!! I can add it to my kitchen!!!”
The light was the best part. Jeremy has been planning zir own kitchen for about three years now. Zie has plans to someday build a counter in zir room for a tassimo, some sort of tiny sink, and a bar fridge. The plans get more elaborate by the day although nothing’s been placed on paper yet.
“I can attach it underneath the counter instead of adding pot lights and I can play music there! And the best part is it’s only $8 and they’re usually a hundred dollars so I’m saving $92!!! And I’ve been wanting it forever!!!”
Which makes forever a lot shorter than I thought considering I’d never heard zir mention one before.
“You have no money so you’re not spending anything,” I pointed out.
“Okay, you’re saving $92.”
Technically I wasn’t saving anything because I’d never had any plans to buy a broadband radio. I was spending $8. But it wasn’t worth telling this to Jeremy.
“What happened to yesterday when I bought you that pair of purple headphones because yours broke and you kept borrowing mine? You said you wouldn’t ask me for anything all week.”
Jeremy was nearly in tears. “I know Mom and I’m sorry. It’s just stuff goes so fast here and I might not get another chance to get one of these again. Please!!! I’ve wanted one forever and we might never see one at this price again!”
I gave one of those full lung sighs. “Okay, fine,” I said reluctantly.
“Oh yay!!!! Thanks Mom, you’re the best! And I promise I won’t ask for anything else for the rest of this month!!!!!”
Sunday we went out to buy some more paint for my bedroom and took a walk through Marshalls, one of Jeremy’s favourite stores.
“Oh wow Mom look!!! They have a bluetooth keyboard for phones and tablets and it’s purple!!!! I’ve been wanting one of these forever!!!!!”
“You promised you wouldn’t ask me for anything else this month,” I reminded zir and got a sheepish smile.
“I know,” zie said ruefully. “I’m just not good at stuff like that.”
Jeremy might have no concept of forever but at least zie knows zir limitations.
Now Jeremy’s cleaning zir room after telling me zie’s going for “style over functionality”. I’m scared to look. Zie says it’ll be fabulous.