I believe in the roll of the dice. Recently, on vacation with my husband and daughter (Jillian) and two of her friends — who are all about 18 — we stayed up late one night by the fireplace playing Monopoly. It’s been a while since anybody played, so we addressed the basics: how to set up the bank, whether or not to have a pile of money in the center (paid by taxes, get out of jail fines, etc.) to collect when we landed on the Free Space, and how does one actually win this game. Jillian wanted to scrounge up all the properties, so she gently misled her friend Amy by suggesting that she should not or could not buy properties of the same color that she (my daughter) owned. I laughed and told Amy she was being bullied and she’d better check the rules again. Well, we all rolled the dice and moved our irons and hats and cars and wheelbarrows around the board, went to jail and beauty pageants, heard from the IRS (no surprise), and collected $200 for making it through trip around the city, and it all began to look much like Wall Street and Bernie Madoff. We made bad investments, forgot to collect the rent, spent every dime we had on impulsive buys, laughed at each other’s stumbles, and got tired of the game. I think my daughter was left with the biggest wad of orange and blue money when we folded up the board, which is fair because she just got a full scholarship to Auburn University and deserves a break or two. (She’s going to be a pharmacist.) The bottom line of this story is that I rolled double sixes when I got Jillian. She was my chance, my get out of jail free card, and my unexpected IRS refund all rolled into one. I believe in my kid. She voted for the first time this year, though not for my chosen candidate — (that’s okay, we won). I told her on her 18th birthday that she is the shiniest person I know, and the game of the future is fixed only in the same way the stars are fixed — if we keep reaching for the best of all worlds, we make progress. In other words, this generation of young people is moving forward and upward. I used to tell Jillian and Amy and Madison when they were little (they’ve known each other since they were three) that they were going to rule the world. And no matter how you roll the dice, the future looks good to me in their hands. Luck will be a lady.
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