Friday, November 21, 2008

The true worth of a soul

My mother-in-law is coming to watch the baby tomorrow at our house because I'm getting my hair done for the first time since June. Small mammals are nesting in it at night. I know this is true because of intricately tied knots I discover in it every morning. Sometimes there are small twigs and Tootsie Roll wrappers, too. I don't even eat Tootsie Rolls. The snarls are making me nuts and that's always the sign that it needs a trim.

Anyway, as I was saying, my MIL is coming tomorrow, so you know what that means....time to clean the house like crazy. Which we did. My husband and I even helped our nine-year-old reverse the tide of serious toy encroachment taking place in his room, violating my firm policy that I don't clean up messes I didn't make. But that's where the baby goes down for his nap, ergo my MIL will be in there, and so it had to be done.

My nine-year-old came up to me just before bedtime, something cupped carefully in his cute, grubby hand.

"I want to give you this for helping me tonight," he said. From behind his back he took a little index card sized water color painting he had done, Scotch tape stuck haphazardly on it, and said, "I'm going to put this on the wall next to your bed." Then he said, "I also want you to have this," and he opened his fist to carefully count out five pennies for me. "Thank you," he said.

It times like this that I have to pause in the craziness that is life and wonder at its gifts, and also over questions like, "WTH?! Five PENNIES?"

I'm thinking I need to unionize.

18 comments:

myimaginaryblog said...

That's a very sweet story. Also sort of weird and disturbing. What kind of allowance does your son get? Does he know how much five cents can buy? Were they special magic pennies?

Mina said...

That's hilarious. I'm jealous. Not one of my kids has ever even THOUGHT about paying me for services rendered.

And thanks for making me smile.

Becky said...

Funny! That was nice of him to reward you hard work, even though I can't think of a single thing that could be purchased for five cents...

Kristina P. said...

Thank you for reminding me I need to schedule a hair appointment!

Eowyn said...

lololol!

I could make some comment about how at least he rewarded you, but still.

5.

Stephanie and Co. said...

At least the small mammals have good taste in treats.
Mmm. tootsie rolls.

Heather of the EO said...

What a sweet little man. Maybe next time it'll be dimes. Hang in there, he'll mature.

Nancy said...

I can hardly wait for my payment!! in a few days.
I can never get your video links, but that's o.k. YouTube scares me some times.
I am a cleaning freak when relatives come but my MIL hardly ever came and never comes now.

Debbie said...

Hey, five pennies is more than I've ever made for housework. Good job!

Linda said...

Gosh, all the times I have cleaned up kid messes never have I been given a cent! James is soooooooo sweet!

Annie Valentine said...

I'm putting you on my blog roll.

Heather of the EO said...

Hi--me again. I have you award. I couldn't help it. You're one of my favorites, okay? So don't stress about the rules, just get happy about the award alright? sheesh. you're welcome. :)

Heather of the EO said...

Can you believe I just said
"I have you award." You're going to make fun of that right? dang...

Julie Wright said...

That is so adorable and hilarious all at once! Thank you for the chuckle and teared up eyes. Now people around me really think I'm crazy!

Kenny, the 25 cent richer said...

Here's a little more of the story...

Flash back 10 minutes before the 5 cent payoff. The 9-year-old comes up to me and says "Look, I found 5 pennies and a quarter."

"Cool. Why don't you put them in your coin jar."

"Naw, I want to give you some for helping me clean my room."

"That's OK. You should keep them."

"No. I really want you to have some."

"Uh, OK."

"Which do you want the five pennies or the quarter?"

Now, I'm a firm believer in teaching by example. And since one lesson I'd like to impart to my boys is that "The world will largely pay you what it thinks you are worth." (Gordon B. Hinckley, 1998*). And therefore you, shouldn't sell yourself short...I took the quarter.

In my defense, I was not aware that the leavings would go to my beautiful, wonderful, more-deserving-of-a-quarter bride.

________________________
* from "Living Worthy of the Girl You Will Someday Marry" Ensign, May 1998. Links don't work too well in the comments section, but copy and paste this into a browser if you'd like to read the full text:

http://tinyurl.com/hinckley-marry

kenny, the careless said...

Dangit! I should have tested the link before I hit Publish.

Try this:

http://tinyurl.com/hinckley-marry2

Melanie J said...

Um, okay, husband. But did he give a water color original, smarty-pants?

Alison Wonderland said...

I don't clean all that much for the MIL. (She's not a superclean person.) But if someone from the ward is coming over, that's a whole other story.