I cherish those moments in life that make us stop and reevaluate our behavior, and how we respond to our munchkins. Most days I am on autopilot. Before I even hear a question I have answered it. And there have been many times I have looked back and realized I should have listened to my inquiring munchkin. I should have lived in the moment, and considered what was being asked, and turned off the “Mommy Autopilot”.
My son, an old soul to the core, wanted SO badly to win the DSi at the holiday gift fair last year. Even though he already had a DS, he had been asking for this most wonderful new electronic. I couldn’t understand why he would need essentially the same video game system, with just a few more bells and whistles.
Plus, the raffle tickets were $1 a pop. Sorry kiddo, but Mama ain’t buying.
Mommy Autopilot had an answer before he even asked the question. I’m not even sure he did ask. He knew my answer.
I watched that day as he walked over to examine the DSi, very clear how badly his little eight year old heart desired it. He didn’t ask for much; he only asked for what he truly wanted. He was a good kid.
Still, I stood my stance that he didn’t need a raffle ticket.
The second day of the gift fair we were working his class table selling homemade dog biscuits. He leaned over to help someone and his back pocket caught my eye. Money always catches my eye. There was a $1 bill tucked inside. Not tucked very well I might add.
I inquired about this $1. Where did it come from? What was the intended purpose?
My sweetheart of a son flushed red. He thought I would be angry. He proceeded to tell me he brought the dollar from his wallet at home. He wanted to buy a raffle ticket for the DSi.
At this very moment I felt awful for being such a hope killing scrooge and refusing to buy him a $1 raffle ticket. He didn’t have any interest in any of the $0.50 raffles. Would it have really been too much trouble to let him buy a ticket? Just one?
It was an Oprah “Aha” moment. I should have turned off the autopilot, and let my son be a kid. He deserved to have a special day when my strict stance on money didn’t apply. I told him I was not angry at all, and it was his money. He could spend it on whatever he wished.
I can still see him walking over to the table and buying his single ticket. And writing his name and teacher on the back. I can also still see the jug filled to the rim with hundreds of tickets. Hundreds.
That very afternoon, I was at Target when my cell phone rang. It was the school. I was expecting the nurse on the other end. I hear from the school nurse often. Much to my surprise, it was the school secretary.
She was calling to tell me my son couldn’t ride the bus home that day because he just won the DSi. I was so excited for my little guy, who had never won anything in his life. I was so excited I left Target without my $15 bag of dog food.
And as I drove to the school to pick him up, I reevaluated my constant automated “No”. As long as I teach my munchkins responsibility, kindness and respect I can afford to loosen up a little. I can afford to give him that $1 to let him be excited and be a kid.
The “Hey, You Never Know” lottery slogan rang in my ears that afternoon. And I fell asleep that night with a renewed desire to loosen up and take myself off autopilot from time to time.
There are moments in life that warrant bending the rules. Such as giving that $1.00 to enter a raffle.
One day too soon, my munchkins will share my practical stance on money. They will grow up and see the world how it is. A tough place. They will lose that part of themselves that really believes they can win. And today I need to let them be kids.
I grew up one of six kids and met my hubby at 19 years old. We married quick, started our family, and the roller coaster I call LIFE still has me breathless. Every day brings new challenges, especially when you add four munchkins to the mix. My Sports Fanatic is 9, my Gymnastics Queen is 7, my Lunatic Little Guy is 4, and my Moopa baby girl is 1 year old.I love the feeling “home” brings, and my blog chronicles my never-ending quest to find the balance between “Frazzled Mommy” and “Domestic Goddess”! I aim to do it all but find a way to make it all easy. I’m not quite there yet. I’m still on my journey.
Every day is filled with smiles, snuggles, laughs, tears, fights, and complete chaos. Stop by my blog and visit my little circus!