We saw the Salvation Army bell ringer today and I explained him to B, telling him that we’d put some money in the bucket on the way out. In line at the pharmacy, I found that I only had some pennies in my wallet (I hardly ever carry cash). The guy in front of me in line handed B some change (about $1.50), and asked him to put it in there for him. I looked at him, and mentioned what a nice gesture that was. He said he had heard me talking to B while we were walking in. B thought for a minute after putting the money in his pocket, and then said that he wanted to save some of it for his quarter collection. Ha! Just when you think they get it, your kid exclaims in front of the whole pharmacy that “he HAS to keep some, or else he won’t have ANY MONEY left.” I was mortified. So, like any good mom, I told him there would be no arguments. The money goes in the bucket. But after I paid, I regained my senses and we sat down. I retold the story of Zacchaeus, the tax collector, who took money for Ceasar, but kept some for himself, and how that is called stealing. I asked him who that man meant for that money to go to, and explained that it was clearly stealing to do anything else with it. Just like Zacchaeus. Not to mention that he isn’t homeless, and has more money than he needs.
I can’t stand the idea of my child growing up without a generous heart, but today was a reminder that we ALL fight that sinful nature every day (myself included).
It made me SO happy to see him dance up to that bucket and empty his pockets (I checked ;-)) and yell MERRY CHRISTMAS!! He gets it. For today.