These were the notes and first "draft" from the writer. It was 12 pages long.
For this excerpt of the rewrite, so extensive that it is a co-authoring, see the text in blue, below..
Tim & Kelly married 3 kids ages 13 Art (boy) / 19,25 (girls)
Mary single mom 3 boys ages 7, 14, &20
Gramps Tims dad
Want the tone to be playful, lighthearted, joking around. These people know each other well and feel comfortable together. Want them to share some deep emotional connections that the audience can relate to.
Title of the book will be something like "Money does grow on trees"…so I mention the tree several times.
Every Saturday during soccer season I would always see Tim and Kelly. I could tell they were well off…not by how they acted they were always super nice and pleasant to be around. But you could see they wore nicer clothes had nice watches and my son would always come home talking about a trip Art's family went on.
"Hey you two" Tim and Kelly had a wide smile on their face. Tim " Haven't seen you since last season how are you?" "I'm dong good" After I said this I know it didn't come off good. I have been having a lot of stress about my bills piling up and it all came through on that simple answer. "I'm going to run to the snack bar can I get you ladies anything?" "A water for me" Kelly replied.
Kelly in a more serious tone asks " How are you really?"
I'm a little embarrassed to say this because I know you and Tim are doing well but I'm having a hard time making ends met. I've always lived pay check to paycheck and I'm use to it….that's not what's bugging me. Kelly "What is bugging you?" It's my sons second year at college and he's already in credit card, student loan debt and I'm having trouble helping him out. I think he learned a lot of these lessons from me and I don't want them to make the same money mistakes I made. I can see that Art my middle child is already developing bad spending habits and Clint my youngest is following along. I can see that their following my mistakes and I don't want them to live like I do - always stressed out about money. "You're a great Mom, you've done everything you could for your boys and its obvious they love you"
"Yes we have a loving family but deep down I feel like I haven't truly prepared them for the real world especially when it comes to money"
Kelly "I know the feeling all to well."
"You do?" Mary says surprised.
"and it wasn't too long ago either" Kelly says. I can still remember back when Art, our youngest, was born. He was a surprise if you know what I mean. Laugh. Kate was 12, Sarah was 6 and Tim just lost his job. We were behind on our rent already and at the worst point we had to hide the car at a friends house because we were scarred it would be repossessed. Credit cards maxed out we were in really bad shape. The part that made it so bad was because of the stress that money caused Tim and I were fighting and admittedly we were both short with the kids."
"Oh my gosh I'm so sorry that must have been so hard for you, I would of never guessed."
Well that times over, thank God! I really can't believe its 13 years later and our boys playing together….time flies.
"I still remember the day Tim broke down and asked his grandfather for help. He's so proud and when he did this I knew we hit rock bottom. Speaking of the devil"
Tim comes back with drinks and a Twinkie.
Mary was just sharing about some problems she's having financially and was telling her our story….I am up to the part where you went to ask your grandfather.
Mary - I was embarrassed again…I knew they were going to talk about it but didn't want it to be when I was still there. Tim sensing my embarrassment just went right into the story to take the focus off me. I was appreciative and deep down wondered why money issues were so taboo to talk about.
"So I finally mustered up enough courage to go talk to my grandfather. He was always there for me but I was always to proud to ask anyone for help. I went over to visit and I couldn't bring myself to ask for help. Minutes went to hours and I knew it was getting close to his 4 o'clock nap I finally saw an opening and told him my situation in a rambling fast almost ….kind of way.
To my surprise he started to laugh….I didn't know what to do…he said I wondered when you were going to finally be able to ask me. Then I started to laugh too in a semi hysterical way where the weight of the nerves was being relieved through the laughter.
He grandfather says I have money to give you in fact I am going to give you $100,000. I immediately felt a great sense of relief, like the world was lifted from my shoulders. As I started to say thank you and was half way into leaning over to give him a big hug he said but first you must save up $100,000 on your own. My heart immediately sunk again. All I could think about is that I failed my wife, and daughters. Was he playing a sick joke as my despair grew to anger?
Gramps laughter quickly turned to seriousness. He said Tim I spent many years teaching you these lessons when you were younger and
I know your thinking am playing a cruel joke but bring your wife and come over tomorrow and ill give the lessons that you need to teach your kids. Mind you it's not for you….its for your wife and my grandkids. I don't want my grandchildren following your mistakes. Tim "deep down I knew my gramps wanted me to take the advice to but he knew how to get me upset enough tot take action so think that's why he said it was just for grand kids"
He said if I give you the money you'll end up loosing it all in a few years…look at all the lottery winners most of them are bankrupt whiten a few years of hitting it big. I don't know why you young people these days don't take money seriously…he began to rant about the Great Depression but I checked out. I just wanted money not lessons.
My grandfather told me to come back tomorrow with Kelly and spend the day with him but deep down I was hoping there would be a check waiting for me.
see your doing well know they don't teach this in school so need to learn …it may be to late for my college son but want to help others
Well it's not to late for your college son but lets start with your youngest. This may take a while so let's grab a seat under that shady tree...
Here's my version, which expanded the original text to 27 pages:
You would think I'd be happy when people say about my children, "They're just like you!" That used to make me feel so proud. I say "used to," because there's one area that I want them to be different from me: how they take care of their money. Oh, I'm glad that my oldest has a job and knows how to work - just like me - but he also has too many debts and nothing in the bank, just like me. And I never knew how to teach them to be different, to be better than me, until the first day of the new soccer season.
Every Saturday during soccer season I would see Tim and Kelly. Their son Art is the same age as my middle son, Jason. I could tell they were well-off, but not by how they acted. They were always friendly and fun to be around. But I could see they had the latest fashion, higher-end cars, nicer watches, and my son would always come home talking about the trips Art's family went on.
This season Jason and Art were going to be on the same team, so I was looking forward to seeing them all again.
When I saw their family walking out to the field, Tim and Kelly had big smiles on their faces. Tim was a little on the heavy side and had some gray in his dark hair. Kelly was slender and wore a beige linen dress that was really pretty - and good for the weather, too, since it looked like it would be a warm afternoon.
"Hey you two!" I called.
"Haven't seen you since last season!" Tim called back. "How are you?"
"I'm doing good!" After I said it, I knew it didn't come out right. I've been having a lot of stress with bills piling up, and it all came through in that simple answer.
When I reached them, Tim said, "I'm going to run to the snack bar. Can I get you ladies anything?"
"A water for me," Kelly replied.
"Anything's fine," I said.
When he had walked away, Kelly said in a more serious tone, "No, really, how are you?"
"I'm a little embarrassed to say this, because I know you and Tim are doing well, but I'm having a hard time making ends met. I've always lived paycheck-to-paycheck, and I'm used to it, sort of. But that's not what's bugging me, really."
"What is bugging you?" Kelly asked.
"It's my son Nick's second year at college, and he's already in debt over his head. Credit cards, student loans, you know. And he bought a second-hand car, but he can't make the payments. I'm having trouble helping him out."
Kelly didn't know how to answer, but before she could think of something, I said, "I think he learned a lot of this behavior from me, and that's what's really bothering me. I don't want him to make the same mistakes I made, but he reminds me of myself at that age. Jason is already developing bad spending habits. And Clint, my youngest, copies everything the older boys do. I can see that they're doing just like Mom did, and I don't want them to live like I do - always stressed out about money."
"You're a great mom, Mary, and you've done a lot for your boys. It's obvious they love you," Kelly answered.
"Yes, we have a loving family," I said, "but deep down, I feel like I haven't prepared them for the real world. Especially when it comes to money."
Kelly shook her head. "I know the feeling all too well."
"You do?" I asked, surprised.
"And it wasn't too long ago either, that I felt just like you," Kelly said. "I remember when Art, our youngest, was born. He was a 'surprise,' if you know what I mean." She laughed. "Our two girls, Molly and Sarah, were six and twelve at the time, and Tim had just lost his job. We were behind on our rent already, and at the worst point we had to hide our car at a friend's house because we were scared it would be repossessed! Credit cards maxed out… we were in really tough shape. The part that made it so bad was the stress about the money. It caused Tim and me to fight all the time, and we were both short with the kids."
"Oh my gosh, I'm so sorry. That must have been so hard for you. But I would have never guessed!"
"Well, that time's over, thank God! I really can't believe it's twelve years later, and our boys are playing together….Time flies."
"So how did you get out of it all?"
Kelly smiled ruefully. "Not like I ever expected. I still remember the day Tim broke down and asked his dad for help. Tim's so proud, and when he did that I knew we'd hit rock bottom. Speaking of the devil!" she said as she looked past my shoulder.
I turned around, expecting to see Tim. But instead I saw an older, heavy-set man with a head full of gray hair and an expensive-looking salmon-colored sport coat. I didn't recognize him.
"That's Gramps," Kelly said. "He's Tim's dad, but our sons all call him Gramps, so we do, too."
Mary stood up and introduced herself. Tim came back right behind his dad.
"What are you doing here, Gramps?" he asked.
"Can't I watch my own grandson start his new season on a new team?" he replied.
Tim passed out the drinks for us women, kept a Coke and a Twinkie for himself, and said to his dad, "If I'd known you were coming, I'd have picked up a Perrier!"
"Any bottled water's just fine for me, Tim. It's not about appearances, it's about health. You kids all oughta stay away from those soft drinks!"
"C'mon, Gramps," Tim said, laughing, "We're all grown up now. We don't need parenting anymore."
"I was just telling Mary our story, Tim," Kelly said in a voice that said "gotcha!" "I was at to the part where you went to ask your father…"
"How's that for timing?" Tim interrupted, screwing his face up as if a load of bricks had just landed on his back.
"I don't want to embarrass anybody," I said. "Just forget I every brought it up." I sure didn't want to cause problems between Tim and his dad. At the same time I wondered why money issues were such a taboo to talk about. Tim, sensing how bad I felt, just picked up the story where Kelly had left off so he could take the focus off me.
"So I finally mustered up enough courage to go talk to Gramps," Tim continued as if his father weren't there. "He was always there for me, but I was always too proud to ask anyone for help. I went over to visit one afternoon, and I couldn't bring myself to do it. Minutes turned into hours, and I knew it was getting close to his four o'clock nap. I finally saw an opening and told him my financial situation in a rambling, fast, 'I'm drowning' kind of way."
Then he turned and looked at his father, and a tone of disbelief came into his voice. "And he started to laugh! I didn't know what to do. He said, 'I wondered when you were going to finally be able to ask me!' Then I started to laugh, too, in a semi-hysterical way, where the pressure on my nerves was being released."
"That's right!" Gramps chimed in. "I told him I had money to give him. I was gonna give him $100,000!"
"Can I tell this story, Dad?" Tim asked.
"I just wanted to be sure you didn't leave out any of the good parts," Gramps answered.
Tim turned back to Kelly and me, and said, "Anyway, I felt this great sense of relief, like the world was lifted from my shoulders, and I started to say 'thank you' and was halfway into leaning over to give him a big hug, and he said, 'But first you have to save up $100,000 on your own.' I couldn't believe him!"
Tim looked over at Gramps to make sure he agreed with this version, and Gramps nodded. Then Tim continued, "My heart sank again. All I could think about is that I failed my wife and daughters. Was he playing a joke on me? I was starting to get really angry!"
Gramps smiled but spoke seriously. "Tim, I gave you money to invest when you were younger, but you just spent that money instead. Even that day, I knew you thought I was playing a cruel joke, so I told you to bring your wife and come over the next day, and I'd give you the lessons that you needed to teach your kids. Mind you, the lessons weren't so much for you….they were for your wife and my grandkids. I didn't want my grandchildren following your mistakes!"...