Her usual dawdling was replaced by wild sprinting straight through the house to her room where the Mason jar containing a few bills and coins sat on her dresser. Before I and the baby could reach the back door, she was out the front door panting and assuring me that she remembers my rule to stay on our street. This rule came about as a result of last years barefoot, three block ice cream man chase-down.
I looked at her and realized that no “You haven’t had lunch yet,” or “Aren’t you saving your money,” comment was going to stop her vigor today. So I went in the house to help Desi round up a few quarters of her own. Desi wasn’t actually as into it as Cara, I got talking with a neighbor, and before we knew it Caroline was back, and NOT empty handed. She looked proud as punch that she had waited and waited and FINALLY he had found her. She rubbed it in a little to Desi and went in to enjoy her spoils. I glanced at the wrapper and was surprised at the flavor she had chosen, coconut. Knowing of her distaste for this flavor, I began to question the selection but the stopped myself, not wanting to prematurely ruin it mentally for her.
She unwrapped the precious prize and took a lick. A lick was okay. Then a bite. Her eyebrows wrinkled. Her eyes widened. Her nostrils flared, and her lips transformed from an angry frown into a wide open wail! “It has COCONUT in it!” she screamed in disgust. If you have ever had something major and expensive break down like the day after your warranty expires, you may have a small inkling of the disappointment and outrage she felt. She was deceived. Shattered. Slighted. Jipped.
At this point phrases like “umbrella mom,” “logical consequences,” “impulse buying,” and “lessons of life” were swimming around in my head right along with the words “mercy,” “innocent mistake,” “heartbroken,” “rescue, ” and “love.”
“I’ll buy it from you honey,” I instinctively offered. But the question now was whether we’d be able to flag down the trouble causing truck again in time. I made the quick decision to leave Will home in charge of the youngins for a moment and told Cara to hop into the bike trailer. We took off up the road and luckily located him. Cara decided to buy from the dollar menu a rainbow popsicle that she remembered trying last year. A safe bet. And fifty cents less. She was learning.
As I pedaled home I wondered whether my rescue had been right. Then out of her mouth came as sincere a “Thank You, Mom. You’re the best.” as I have ever heard her give. She knew that I had saved her from her plight when she had not power to do so herself. I do want to teach her wise money management. It’s important for her to know that some sales are final, and sometimes in life you just miss the boat. But when we fall we need not despair, for if we humble ourselves and come unto our Savior, His grace is sufficient and his rewards are sweet above all that is sweet.
This year's cake was no disappointment. She was pretty excited. Happy 6th Birthday Sweet Caroline!