Originally published October 12, 2008
While many are panicking as they pull their money out of banks and the stock market, my darling daughter #4, Jodie, is ready to put her little stash in the bank. Yes-sirree! The faith of one 12 year old is going to restore everyone’s confidence and end this financial clusterfuck for us all, gosh darn it all to heck! Jodie earned a little over $60 tap dancing her little heart out on a street corner at the Manteca Pumpkin Fair and rather than attempt to blow it all in one place, she decided that perhaps she should SAVE it.
Seriously, I was glad to see that she was listening to my words of wisdom rather than my years and years of poor financial action or perhaps she was making this decision based on the pile of bad money management in my personal history. Either way, I couldn’t help but be proud of her decision. She does have savings that we established when she was still a little carpet crawler but it is safely and quietly growing in a credit union account in the Bay Area. One of these days, I tell myself, I will move it closer to home but there is always something else to juggle. In the meantime, Jodie wants to open up her own personal savings account at a bank just down the street. In her perky, golden-blonde goodness she imagines her stopping there after school to add even more money to it when she gets it so she can save, save, save and watch her money grow, grow, grow.
See? I told you she will restore America’s financial confidence.
After a little discussion, I agree this is a good idea for the money she earned and suggest that we go together to the bank and open up her own personal savings account. All I need to do is get her social security card and off we can go.
Not so easy-peasy.
I have the three youngest children’s social security cards filed safely away. The only problem is I can’t exactly remember where they are filed safely away. The obvious, logical place would be my filing cabinet where I have filed “important” paperwork like past income tax forms, my continuing education certificates, the kids’ birth certificates, Daniel’s adoption papers and medical records, insurance policies and other stuff like that. But I am not necessarily a logical, obvious kind of person. Still I am stubbornly certain that those cards HAVE to be in there so there I was this past week, sorting through my files piece by piece trying to find those cards.
During my process I come across one important document that I kind of forgot about…but actually I haven’t. A four-page Traffic Collision Report # 01-054-0734 of the incident that occurred February 23, 2001 at 1615 hours on Camden Avenue just 51.6 feet north of Merrill Loop. Party #1 had no driver’s license number, was 4 ft 5 in tall and was perceived (incorrectly) to be 80 pounds. The report also states that she was 9 years old which was also incorrect. She was 8. She was traveling east on Camden Avenue (it runs north to south) at an undetermined speed. Party #2 did have a driver’s license, was a foot and a half taller and twice the recorded weight of party #1. He was also more than 50 years older. He was traveling north on Camden at an estimated 35 mph. the report goes on for three more pages with detailed illustrations of the point of impact and the 95 feet of tire skid marks up to the point of impact on Camden Avenue. The three witnesses’ accounts completely support the evidence in the street: the skid marks, the stopped flatbed truck with the one ton trench digger secured on the flatbed, the crumpled, battered and bloodied body of the 80 pound 50 pound, 4 ft 5 in tall, 8 year old body of my daughter Zoë and the banged up razor scooter lying curbside.
The sorting and searching of my files stop as I slowly re-read and re-live every detail of that horrible, horrible afternoon. I feel my breath catching and my heart pounding as I scan each and every line of Officer # 3495’s carefully printed and typed report. More than 8 years, 12 inches and approximately 60 pounds later I still haven’t forgotten. I will never forget. How could I possibly forget? I just have it filed away very neatly in my file cabinet…and in my heart and in my mind.
I never did find the social security cards. I stopped searching. After my little afternoon of recollection, my heart just wasn’t in it, I guess. I know they are somewhere, safely filed away and they will turn up right around the time I receive the replacement cards I requested.