A Minor’s Miner Dream

“When I grow up, I want to be a miner.”

“I think you might want to reconsider that,” I said in response to six year-old Hal’s pronouncement from the back seat.

“Why?”

“Well, miners don’t make a lot of money. They are usually very poor and they work very hard and it’s very dangerous work.”

“No, I’m going to mine for emeralds and diamonds and stuff. I won’t be poor.”

“If you are a miner, you’ll be poor. They don’t get to keep the stuff they find. They work for someone else.”

“That doesn’t make sense. I want to mine emeralds and I’ll keep what I find. It’ll be fun looking for stuff.”

“It’s not like Minecraft,” Daryl interjected. “Minecraft isn’t real life.”

“I know that!”

“Well, mining isn’t fun in real life. It’s hard work,” Daryl said.

“Well I think it could be fun. If I find a big diamond or something.”

“Sweetheart,” I tried again, “diamond miners are sometimes slave laborers or make very little money and it’s all a long ways away from here. They don’t necessarily find big diamonds and if they do, they certainly don’t get to keep them.”

“Well, I’ll just look for my own.”

“But the people who own the diamond mines won’t let you get near the places where you might find a diamond,” I said. “But, you know. You’ve got some time. If you still want to be a miner when you grow up, you can certainly look into it.”

After some silence, he spoke again.

“I changed my mind. Instead of being a miner, I want to be the person that the miners give what they find to.”