Skip to main content

wishin and hopin

My kids are constantly asking me for quarters. They want to put them in anything that has a slot for it and a nob to turn. I swear you could put broccoli in those coin machines and my kids would beg for change and gobble it up.

I remember being the same way. Always wanting the crap in the little machines strategically placed by the exit of most restaurants and grocery stores. My dad usually had a pocket full of change and more often than not handed it over so I could buy stickers, jewelry that turned my fingers green and gum so hard and stale that I am lucky I didn't break any teeth.
Eventually I outgrew this and realized that these machines were full of crap and I started placing my change in denim purse zipper pocket to save for more important things like a banana fudge popsicle or a giant pickle at lunch.
Later when I turned 16 the change pooled in the cupholders of my car for half price drinks at Sonic or 59cent tacos. In college quarters were in even higher demand saved for the laundry machines....or pretty much anything I could collect enough coins for.
I've paid for all kinds of things in change...entire meals, a shirt on sale at the gap, cds, movie tickets, the xerox machine to copy someone's notes for a class that i missed (oh, iphone where were you then??) and even recently I'm afraid...I paid a baby sitter almost entirely in quarters.
The quarters still pool in my cup holder or in my desk drawer at work and I buy a diet dr pepper to help me get through the last few periods, or if there is enough a grande Americano or lately...snowcones for my kids because they are about the only place left that only takes cash.
I try to teach my kids the value of money, but let's be honest....I am not exactly the best role model here.  I have made them save up for some purchase.  I try not to say yes everytime they ask for something at the store. I teach them to put money into the offering plate. I give them ways to earn money with extra chores and I steal any cash that my son just leaves lying around.  He is starting to judge new toys by how many teeth he'd have to lose or how much laundry he'd have to put away. I am only slightly older and wiser and buy way less crap than I used to.  But, I do however spend way too much on coffee, itunes and zulily. Which all seems small and inconsequential until you start adding it up. Like change.  My kids however have different ideas about money. To Tess a penny is bigger than a dime so surely it is worth more. A putt putt token, a looney from canada or one of those annoying dollar coins that the post office gives you as change all have about the same value and possibility as cheetah bucks or monopoly money.  And they always want whatever crap is in the machines by the door. I am reluctant to hand over my change for a bouncy ball, a fuzzy fake mustache or 7 skittles...half of which will spill over the floor. The last thing we need in our house is more crap. (although, of course...I occasionally give in...I mean....I look pretty good in a fuzzy mustache).
My kids always ask me for change anytime they see a fountain. at the park, a resturaunt, a museum. They beg for any and all of my coins. Instead of getting to turn the knob and collect candy or junk, this time they only get a wish.
And unlike the candy machines I dig deep in my pockets or fish the bottom of my purse and hand over whatever coinage I can find. I know this is silly and that I am literally letting my kids throw away money. I watch as they toss their coins and close their eyes and make a wish. I am pretty sure  that my very literal and cynical 8 year old doesn't really believe them but he closes his eyes just the same....and that Tess probably always wishes for a pony. My coins hit the bottom and are gone without even a crummy friendship bracelet or one direction sticker in return. But I am ok with that.
Because for now, I love that my kids value wishes more than money.  Even if it is my dollars that they are wishing with.



Popular posts from this blog

preachers and parades.

Months ago, I sat in a pew and tried to not think about the fact that you could count on one hand the number of white congregants in the room.
And I was one of them.
 I did not want to draw attention to myself, but despite the fact that I have been to church most Sundays of my life, I had no idea what to do. When to sit, stand, pray or the lyrics to any of the songs. The rules here seemed so different than my own church, just a few miles away. Filled with people who mostly looked like me.
 A few elderly African American women were seated next to me and were kind enough to attempt to make me feel welcome and tell me what to do. At some point Eunice, in a bright purple dress, slid her arthritic hand on top of mine, squeezed and tugged me to the front to pray.
 I let her lead me, because I didn’t how else to respond, and because she seemed so genuinely glad that I was there, singing off key next to her.

 It was not lost on me, that my slight discomfort was one of choice and ended just …

The annual REAL Christmas letter

One of my favorite traditions for a decade has been to sit down and try to write a REAL Christmas letter.  Not just the highlights, but a few honest moments as well. It started as a joke with one of my friends, thinking how refreshing it be for people to share more than just their perfect lives that we are used to seeing on Facebook and Instagram. It would be way more truthful and a whole lot more entertaining. Last new year, I had a friend ask me to come up with a word for 2018. I joked that my word was just going to be “done”. I was partly kidding, partly serious. The year ahead seemed daunting rather than full of promise and resolutions.  I had so many things to finish in the upcoming year that I needed to be “done” with: my degree, my job and my thirties. A few weeks later, my friend showed up with one of those string bracelets with the metal word “done” hammered in the middle. I wore it often, especially in those home stretches. Not taking it off until I had my last chapter writte…

game day

“But I don’t want to go to soccer, I’m tired”
says the boy who has been running circles around the living room for the last hour.

“No, I don’t want to wear my jersey”
says the same boy that slept in his uniform just last week.

And so I do what any good mom would do, which is start bribing my kid.
I promise him ring pops or pizza or new toys for having a good attitude, listening to his coach and trying his best.
But those things are not quite enough to make him eagerly lace up his cleats.

Owen actually loves soccer practice.
And is one of the best dribblers on the teams.
And he loves kicking the ball around the living room and in the front yard.
But games days are hell.
Instead of being a proud momma on the sideline snapping pictures
I am usually trying not to cry.
Because Owen has realized that he isn’t really good at it.
That the other kids are bigger and faster and score more goals.

And today his team won. And they haven’t won many games.
And they cheered and lined up eagerly for patches and sna…