My friends, Erin and Dan-O, once had a toddler. She is old now, but when she was an itty bitty sly thing she sneaked into the kitchen garbage can, where she confiscated a few stale Whoppers I threw away. When I caught her, she gripped her chubby little hands around those candies as if they were her last melons for the next million, billion years. I tried prying those puny fists open, but she gripped harder and screamed, “DON’T TAKE IT!! I NEEEED IT!” To that I cracked up laughing and had to call in reinforcements, because as it turns out, toddlers saving candy from the trash are infinitely stronger than me. This true story took place more than 15 years ago, but I think of it often when I begin to get the greedy grip.
We have been doing all of this back to school shopping. I really do love spending money. I love picking out school supplies. I love finding smokin’ deals at thrift stores and dollar stores and re-purposing the oddest treasures into greatness. After two days of straight shopping, I left my body and viewed myself as the adult watching the toddler give a handful of Whoppers a new lease on life. I took stock and heard myself screaming, “I NEEEED IT!” Aren’t you a little old for that behavior? Why yes. Yes I am.
Also, I am too aware of people who hurt and need and would really like some food. I have not taught my kids to be patient for things or earn them or choose the essentials so we have left over to give away. Oh, don’t get me wrong. I wrote to God in my prayer journal this morning asking him for opportunities to give. He may have asked what in the world do I have left to give? There is a chance I had no answer. There is also a chance I made a disappointed face and felt like a schmuck.
Just look away. I can’t take it.
Now, I will be using this experience as a life lesson for my children. Not only confessing what I got caught up in, but I will also be asking them what in the world can we do about this now? Lots actually. But we will come up with a plan together. Then I will pray that they will not grow until next school year, so we can really get our money’s worth. :/
And NOW, you may be asking yourself what this picture of Samuel has to do with anything. I will tell you. Nothing. It has nothing to do with anything at anytime, but you needed to see it. And, you are welcome. Someone give this kid his own show. No script needed. This picture was taken while he patiently waited for his cousin, Raine, to finish trying on her jeans. We just looked over, and there he was, on the couch at Children’s Place, with the bib he picked out, and the face he knew only a mother could love. He wore it anyway, and here we are today. One step closer to having our own show.
I am thankful for that face and second chances.