This week, the teenage boy who helps me with my yard work got a pedalboard for his guitar. For those of you who don’t know what a pedalboard is, it’s a piece of equipment that allows you to play different effects on your guitar.
He has wanted one for four years, and has been saving as much money as he could in that time. I fronted him the remaining 500 Quetzales (about $65) for yard work yet to be done, he placed his order, and it arrived this week. We drove to Santa Elena to get it, and his excitement was palatable.
Of course, he couldn’t wait to get home to open it, and within minutes of us getting the box the inside of my pickup truck looked like Christmas morning: the wrapping, box, plastic and styrofoam was strewn all over the back seat and his seat and he was busily playing with his new toy.
He explained everything to me as I drove and kept laughing and saying, “Wow!” over and over.
I couldn’t help but smile for the entire drive, because his reaction reminded me of something from my life that was well worth the wait.
I shared with him how I had told my parents three things that I wanted when I was three: I wanted to be a surgeon, I wanted a little sports car and I wanted to go to Paris.
I finally got to go to Paris when I was a junior in college and won a scholarship to study in France for a semester. My classes were in the southeast of France, in the Alps region, but one weekend my classmates and I took the train to Paris.
I don’t think I slept that weekend; I was too busy taking in as much of Paris as I could. The reality of me being in Paris hit home for me when I was standing in the Musee d’Orsay looking at some paintings by Renoir. I was so overwhelmed that I started to cry.
They were tears of happiness, and I realized that Paris had not only lived up to my dream and expectation of what it would be like, it had exceeded it…much as the pedalboard exceeded my friend’s expectations.
So often it seems that we go through life wanting something and then, when we finally get it, we feel let down or disappointed. But every once in a while, something we want blows us away because no matter how much we tried, we were not able to imagine how incredible it was going to be and how we would feel when we got it.
My friend was on cloud nine as we dropped the pedalboard off at his house…and I told him I don’t want to see him for a couple days so he can take his new musical equipment for a spin.