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Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Money Tree

We were driving down a country road and my husband says to the kids, “Hey guys, look, there’s a money tree!” Of course, they all look because most kids really do think that there is one. His comment was in response to our festivities at the local carnival last month, when the kids wanted more cotton candy, more sno-cones, more nachos, more popcorn… MORE, MORE, MORE!! We had gotten them the wrist bands to ride rides until they could ride no more. And, I guess they assumed that same wristband also meant unlimited food and beverages?! We tried to explain the difference as well as a quick lesson on how you have to work hard to earn money…oh…where IS that money tree?

Anyway, I could visibly see the smoke coming from their entrepreneurial brains as we continued our drive. When we got home, my older two immediately started working on a project. They emptied the craft drawers and cabinets – glitter glue, regular glue, stick glue, thick-tipped markers, thin-tipped markers, crayons, stamps, scissors, pens, pencils and…did I mention glue? The beautiful news at this point is that there was one complete, solid hour of serene, harmonious, peaceful, tranquil, quiet play time…ahhhhhh.

When they were done, I was given a list of what they had “For Sale.” They had large pictures for 75 cents, medium ones for 50 cents and small for 25. “So, you want me to buy these pictures? The ones you normally give Mommy for free? Is that right?” I asked. After just a nanosecond of thought and reflection on the undisturbed hour they just gave me, I gratefully purchased one of each size from each of them. They happily tucked their loot into their piggy banks, saving up for next year’s carnival.

I reminisced that night of the days when I used to cut out snowflakes on plain ole notebook paper and go around to my grandmother’s neighbors and sell them. However, my price range was 10 cents for large snowflakes, 5 cents for medium-sized and 1 cent for the small ones. This is also the same little girl who used to think that as long as you had checks…you had money! So, I smiled thinking that apples really DON’T fall far from the tree.

Speaking of money, isn’t it interesting that we might gain the most from the coin worth the least? A “penny” for our thoughts, a lucky “penny” on the ground, and then there’s even the little goat, “Penny” at The Texas Zoo – the one who is the most calm, gentle and loving among the goats. The zookeeper said that the confrontational, irritable, crabby and cantankerous goats weren’t there anymore. It makes perfect sense - who would really want to hang out with a cranky ole goat?! So, here’s to “Penny,” – may we all try to be more like you so that people will want to be around us and enjoy our company. And, I hate to go, but…I’m planting my money tree today!

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