The Paper Route

Ronin has a paper route. I had one as a kid and I wanted him to have the same experience.

One big difference. Print is on life support these days and The Post is mostly about ads. There isn’t much huge news in the Post. It’s a community paper. I believe one of the big stories was about a fraudulent street Santa. Yes, there was a fake fictional character roaming the streets.

Could be worse. The neighbouring community has the same kind of paper but it’s called The Beaver. Not a day goes by that I’m not grateful that my son doesn’t have to tell his customers once a month that he’s collecting for the beaver.

I was a little older when I had my route. He’s only nine so either myself or my wife are always with him. On the heavier paper days, we help with all the inserts and push the trolley as he delivers. On the lighter days he does more himself. The goal is to have him eventually do it all on his own. He’s learning about providing a service, (regardless of the weather), and personal finances. I’ve been with him on the cold days so he’s also learned some new words. I never said I was a perfect parent.

Payment is voluntary. (Nobody orders The Post). Enough people give him the recommended amount to make it fair for him. He often wears his monster toque to milk the fact that he’s only nine. The hat seems to big a bit hit with his older retired customers. Some chose to give nothing (totally their right) and it’s actually nice to see Ronin politely accept their refusal and mark them down so he remembers not to ask them again.

My favourite moments are when I watch Ronin dance and sing as he delivers the paper. I don’t remember dancing and singing during my paper route. On the cold days, he wore his mothers long coat and the tall, furry monster hat. He looked like one of the soldiers for the wicked witch in The Wizard of Oz. Especially when he does his one step back, two steps forward dance move. I never had a move like that or a hat like that. Now, I kind of wish I did. Ronin is having way more fun than I did.

Having kids does sometimes give you the chance to relive your childhood. If you’re lucky, your kids make different choices then you and it’s more of a second childhood. I’m glad he got the route but partially for selfish reasons. I get to have the paper route that I never had.