It’s official. We have a Wish Kid in the family! This is the first time I’ve posted here about it, because I didn’t want to jump the gun, but now it’s really real! Back in the fall, the hellish, hellish fall, we were recommended to the Make-a-Wish foundation by our pediatrician. This was very nice, but of course one’s first thought is that Wishes are for terminal patients, and this might be very bad news. Luckily, that’s no longer the case. Make-a-Wish used to be only for children who were not going to recover, but made the switch to include kids with severe health problems that need a ray of hope in the midst of a bad situation. And so we agreed that we fit the bill and our journey began. And if you were suddenly worried that there was something I wasn’t telling you, relax. No one is dying.
The Make-a-Wish foundation offers four distinct types of wishes, and no, a million dollars is not one of them, nor can you wish for three more wishes. (obviously, I asked) That’s not how this works. You can either wish A) to go somewhere (think “Disney World”), B) to meet someone (like Taylor Swift or Ruth Bader Ginsburg), C) to have something (no, not $1,000,000, more like a new bike or a pool or something), or D) to be something (think “Batkid”). So we needed to ask Edward what he wanted his wish to be.
Look, we tried really hard to get him to say “Hawaii.” We told him he could see a real volcano (he is a big fan of lava), we told him he could go on a big airplane, we told him he could watch them roast a pig on a spit, but no, Hawaii remained as his 2nd choice. What he really really really wanted, more than anything in the world, was to go to New York City.
Now, if you have been reading Tenor Dad for a while, you will probably know that I have been to New York City one bajillion times. This was not the wish I was hoping for. But then, I am not the wish kid. And if it had just been “go to NYC” I would have been a little disappointed. But perhaps you do not know why his wish was to go to New York. I firmly believe that part of it was that his sister got to go to New York on her 7th birthday and he has been jealous ever since, but the biggest reason he wants to go to NYC is because of “the lego game.”
“The lego game,” is Lego Marvel Super Heroes, which he plays non stop on the PS4. To say he loves it would be an understatement. When he was in the hospital in the fall, they only had XBox 360s there, and no Lego Game, so we had to go buy a copy of the game for Xbox, even though we do not own an XBox. That is how much he loves the game. We have copies of the game for systems we do not currently possess. And what he loves most about the lego game, is the hugely expansive, fairly accurate open-world map of New York City that he uses as a driving simulator.
Forget the missions, forget the bad guys, what he loves is going to that map, getting a bus, and driving around the city, from Times Square up to Columbus Circle, then over to Central Park, and so on and so forth. He stops at the traffic lights. He pulls over at bus stops. He would like nothing more than to be driving a bus in Manhattan right now, I assure you. But you can get any number of vehicles in the lego game. (I should mention that we have a half a dozen Lego video games, but only one is “the lego game”) Sometimes he will drive a taxi. Sometimes he will take a firetruck. And sometimes he will fly a helicopter around the Statue of Liberty. There are boats, subway trains, planes, copters, buses, cars, ambulances, and bicycles, and he has tried out all of them.
So suddenly we flash forward to now-ish, when we get the call from the team that they are ready for Edward’s wish reveal. We had been instructed not to tell him anything one way or the other while they tried to make sure that the wish could indeed be granted. So we only told him that we were going to Boloco after school, which honestly was more than enough to get him pumped up. When the Make-a-Wish team interviewed him originally they asked what his favorite restaurant was, and there was no hesitation when he shouted out “BOLOCO!” So we drove over to Church Street after school for what he suspected was an innocent burrito.
I wish you could have seen his face when he walked in the door and heard them shout “Surprise!” His mother was waiting for him, and he ran to her immediately, but also his grandparents, cousins, friends, and of course Make-a-Wish folks were there, surrounded by balloons and tons of free chips and salsa (and even guac!). It was awesome.
They made a countdown poster for him, counting down the 35 days until we leave for a week in New York City. I don’t know exactly what we will be doing there, but I know we will be going on a helicopter, a boat, a bus, and airplane, a taxi, and more. I know there will be superheroes involved in some way. And so perhaps I will feel like the wish kid after all, as we fly around the city with Iron Man in a chopper. Excuse me while I squeeeeeeee for a few seconds. Thank you. I’m good now.
Edward could not be happier, I could not be happier, the whole family could not be happier (especially Ruby, who tells me she is scared of volcanoes), and I just want to say thank you to Make-A-Wish Vermont, as well as Make-a-Wish New York who is helping out with this one. Thank you Boloco for such a warm welcome, and thank you friends and family who came to help celebrate. It has been exactly 4 months today since he had a seizure, and I think we are all hoping that this trip will be a fantastic punctuation mark on what was otherwise a very dark and difficult chapter in our lives. Change is a’comin’, new things are on the horizon, and I’ll be here to tell you about them. Later. First I have to go to New York and watch my son’s wishes come true.