I picked up Jason around 3:30. A handsome twenty-something, I figured he was headed to a friend’s house to get ready for the bars later that night.
“Hey, I want to go pick up my little sister from daycare, and then come back here. Is that OK?”
Most rides are a simple, from Point A to Point B jaunt. When a rider wants to go more than one place, sometimes they enter it in the app, and sometimes they just ask. I’m getting paid as long as they are in the car, so I’m good. I’ve heard that some other drivers give their rider a hard time when they want to veer from the app’s omnipotent GPS.
“Sure, that’s fine with me. Your destination in the app, is that the daycare place?”
“Ok. We’re off.”
Jason and I didn’t have much to talk about. I was a little amazed to find a conscientious older brother in that part of town, not what I would expect. He wasn’t a typical twenty-year-old, and a few minutes later we pulled into to the inner-city church’s daycare driveway.
“I’ll be right back.”
Jason returned with his four year old sister Peyton in tow. Dressed in a pretty pink winter coat and matching boots, when they climbed in, she spotted my candy jar.
“Oooh, candy. Can I have one?”
“Sure Sweetheart. You can have one,” I replied. Jason was deep in thought.
Fresh off my experience with the pot heads (insert link) a few days earlier, when I heard Peyton grabbing two mittens full of candy, I wanted to say something. I’m not her brother, It wasn’t my place to correct her, but it’s my candy. Jason didn’t react, so I glanced back at the next stop sign. “Hey Sweetheart, don’t take too many. You’ll ruin your dinner.“
“Mom say’s we’re not having dinner tonight,” came the dead pan reply.
Ok, now what do I do? Jason and his sister lived in a neighborhood where the roads and curbs are cracked, and the houses need more than a coat of paint. Was my candy jar Peyton’s only dinner? My prolonged silence brought Jason out of his thoughts.
“ She’s making that up.”
The little scamp was scamming me, and she didn’t miss a beat. Her tone was as factual as if she were telling me about her pink coat or Christmas right around the corner. I waited for Jason to jump in, but he didn’t say any more. Peyton sat in the back seat with fists full of candy, my candy. It’s not a big deal, but as a dad, I didn’t want the little to reward her for conning me either.
“OK Peyton. Why don’t you take one for you, and one for your mom.” . . . and put the rest back. I hoped Jason didn’t hear me muttering under my breath.
“Ok,” came the innocent reply. “This one is for me, this one’s for mom, and the rest are for later.”