I like to read PostSecret. Call it a guilty pleasure. There are often "secrets" on there that make me sit and think. Today, there was one that made me smile:
"As a child, when the 'tooth fairy' left money under my pillow, I would sneak the few dollars I got back into my mom's purse. She was a hard working single mom."
I probably read that secret ten times. It reminds me of Clairey. You see, before I lost my job, nearly six months ago, the chicks pretty much were in need nor want of anything. If we went to the store, and they asked, "Mommy, can I get this, please?" The answer was usually either, "Yes, if you're good while we're here," or "Eh, you don't need that, but how about this?" Since my layoff, and particularly now that all the savings are gone and the 401k is gone, and there's NOTHING, if they ask, I have to tell them, "No, we don't have the money for THAT right now."
I'm always very careful to tell them "we don't have the money for THAT." I want to help them understand that we DO have money for FOOD, but we don't have money for...oh...Polly Pockets and Jonas Brothers crap and new movies. But now, after I say that, they always ask, "When you get a job?" Now, seriously, that breaks my heart. It takes everything I have to not look at them, with tears in my eyes, and say, "When mommy gets a job, i'm going to buy you a freakin' Webkinz factory."
But Clairey....Clairey rips my heart out with her gentle kindness. In the backseat of my car, there's a little cubby by their booster seats. In Clairey's, she has loose change, and about 4-5 dollar bills. I always hand change back there for them to put in their piggy banks, but apparently, although Jenna's makes it to the pig, Clairey stashes hers in the car cubby. A few weeks ago, we were in the car, and I hear Clairey scraping away back there, digging through her "treasures" that she keeps in her cubby. Her little hand pokes between the two front seats, and she's holding a handful of singles and a bunch of change.
"What's this for?"
"Here, mommy...you can have my money."
"I don't want your money, baby. When we get home, put it in your piggy bank."
"But mommy, if you take MY money, you won't need a job, and we can have money again."
I swallowed hard, corrected my driving skills--for I had nearly driven off the road and ran over the random roadsideworker--and smiled big.
I have the sweetest little kid ever. (Yeah, Jen's sweet, too, but i'm sure she's hoarding her money to take over the world.)