…and sometimes they surprise you. Pleasantly so.

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A few weeks ago, we took Stephen and Rachel to one of our favorite “happy places“. Tad and I were sipping a little not-necessarily-Southern comfort while reading the latest and greatest (meaning I don’t remember now what we were reading then). The kiddos were mining treasures of their own somewhere nearby. How much do I appreciate that they enjoy this kind of outing as much as we do?!

Stephen had to make a trip to the bathroom, and upon his return, he had a very happy gleam in his eye. Not only did he find treasures galore in the bookstore, he found a five dollar bill on his trip to the loo (for the record, no, I have never used that word before-ha!). This is the kid who used to lay prostrate on any–EVERY–store floor, cheek grazing unknown-disease-laden linoleum, expectant eyes probing the darkness underneath the cashier’s platform, silently praying to the grocery store gods that he’d find “silver money”. Even at the age of four he understood that would do more for him than copper. Now, a fourth grader, he no longer hits the deck, but always has an eye cast downward “just in case”. This time, it paid off.

Well, for two minutes, anyway.

He knew what he had to do, he didn’t even question it. We walked over to Customer Service, explained what he had found, and in spite of the confused looks we received, turned in the bill to lost and found. Honestly, as the mom, I was disappointed the CS rep didn’t praise him, but then again, he (we) didn’t do it to be praised. He understood how he’d feel if he lost $5, how he would hope someone else would do the same for him. He got lots of affirmation from me on the ride home.

About two days later, Thomas was at a middle school football game; it was the afternoon of Rachel’s birthday, so the rest of us didn’t join him (she certainly didn’t want to spend her birthday doing that!). When he got home that night, his adrenaline was flowing–great game (a buddy caught a “b e a u t i f u l” touchdown pass!), a blast with his friends, and sounding like he was on a caffeine buzz, he excitedly and animatedly (the way Thomas lives life) observed, “I’ve been at school 13 hours today!”

Thomas went on to tell me that he had found a $5 bill on the ground at the game. I asked him if he bought a bunch of junk with it and he said, “Of course not…someone lost it…I turned it in to the concession stand.” [**heart swelling, now**]. He’s 12. He could’ve bought enough junk to rot a tooth or two (as if he had any to lose!). And without us there to guide and direct him, he made a difficult choice.

How bizarre that within a few days of each other, BOTH our sons found five dollars? It’s doubtful that the rightful owner ever claimed the money in either instance, but somehow I believe both boys gained much more in those decisions than they would have had they bought something; something that by now would have been long forgotten.

And I received an incalculable mommy-paycheck:).

Quote under picture: The soul is dyed the color of it’s thoughts. Think only of those things that can bear the full light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you choose, what you think and what you do is who you become…

Kelly got me thinking about writing about this, she’s a thoughtful blogger who has much experience working with kids. Visit her at Pass the Torch–you’ll want to return again and again!

Photo credit: Allposters.com (shop again, shop often!)

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