Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Making Cents

On Saturday I braved up and invited the big kids to run errands with me. It was time to start gathering items for Grandpa's new room, and I had a tiny burst of energy that I could take advantage of before is disappeared. I usually prefer to do this alone, mostly because I get to be alone in the quiet bliss of no children chattering/fighting/begging etc.

But the kids had been stuck around the house for a couple of days, so I knew they really needed a change of scenery. I also knew that this was not a grocery run, so it's more fun for them that way.

All in all it worked out pretty good for most of us. They had fun at the flea markets that we visited. And in general were good while we took on Wal-Mart.

Somewhere among the many shelves of household items and toys though lies a tiny little roll made up of six dollar bills held together by a red Flexie.

Much to her dismay, Grace, without realizing it, set her precious currency down to examine something, and accidently forgot to pick it back up. 

She did not discover this until we were in the checkout isle and she found what she finally was sure she wanted to buy, a little pack of lip glosses and nail polish. When she went to count her money to get it ready, she couldn't find it. We searched all her pockets, and as we stacked all the items from the cart onto the conveyor, we saw that it had not been hiding in the cart either. 

She really was a big girl about it. She didn't even cry, though she was clearly very sad and upset. She asked if I might buy the lip glosses for her.

At first, I wanted to say, "No, because you should have left your money in your pocket where it couldn't get lost."

But I didn't. I thought about being six. I said, "I'll think about it."

And I did. The whole time our items were being scanned, I wondered what the best action was. I thought about how many weeks of chores she did to manage to save up six whole dollars. I remembered how long it took her to finally remember just to bring it to the store with her in the first place.

To my surprise, but made me very proud of her, she did not ask about it the rest of the time. I'm pretty sure she assumed the answer was no.

As I pushed one loaded cart toward the exit, I heard little muffled voices coming from behind the second one that Zak was pushing. All I could really make out from the whispers was:

"Don't worry! She bought it for you."

"Oh, she did? That's nice of her...THANK YOU, MAMA!"

"You're welcome," I smiled as she approached to give me a hug, "but I think it would be fair if you paid me back a least a little bit of it, don't you?"

"Of course! You're a sweet mama."

"Thanks baby."

After a brief stop at Radio Shack, where Zak had been asking us for days to take him so he could buy a HexBug (which he purchased on sale), we finally made it home. An exhausted but content mama, and two bubbly kids, who immediately shared their long-awaited purchases with their baby sister. Grace smeared about six different flavors of lip gloss on Kit's lips, and Zak made her squeal by chasing her with his new electronic inchworm. Everybody was happy.

I haven't seen a penny of payback yet though. But, really, I'm okay with that. I was when I bought it for her. After all being six is hard. So is being ten, or one, or...even thirty-one.

Sometimes we all just want to hear someone whisper to us, "Don't worry! She bought it for you."

 

1 comment:

  1. Cute story, cute kids. I liked the little whispers of comfort from Zack. You could see their little conversation happening and the smile on her face. :-) It's really true as parents we forget these little people have there own little struggles and deserve and need some breaks in this big Tough world.

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