Sunday, January 8, 2012
What to do with $5?
The first gifter was an older lady named Elsie, and she gave each of the kids a $5 bill. What to do with $5? The girls were ecstatic, but to be honest they don't have much understanding of what exactly you can buy with $5. Yet by the time we had returned home, Eva knew what she wanted to do with her $5: "I want to buy a hot dog and give it to a poor person who's hungry."
Maia, meanwhile, guiltily admitted that she wanted to spend it on something for herself. Jeff assured her that was fine, "After all," he said, "that's what Mommy and I do when someone gives us money. We spend it on ourselves." Maia finally fixed on buying some batteries she needed for a new toy, which I thought was a good idea. Daddy, however, told her we would buy her batteries and she could use it for something else.
Over the next few days, Eva looked in vain for a poor person to feed. Every time I went shopping, she begged to come, and clutched her little pink purse on the whole trip, hoping to run into someone who was hungry. Although I have been approached by people in the past looking for food or money, Eva was unsuccessful in finding anyone to feed. Elsie, however, was tickled by the news (communicated to her by Maia) of Eva's intention of using her money to feed the poor.
One morning as we slipped in to church a few minutes late, I caught Maia surreptitiously putting her $5 into the poor box, which goes to our Vincent de Paul Society's food pantry. I guess she decided, after all, to help the poor, since we bought her the batteries and there was nothing she really needed. So that's how Maia spent her $5.
Eva continued to come with me on shopping trips and to look for hungry people. Finally she decided to buy an Eric Carle book at Kohl's. And, though it was only her second choice, she seemed happy with the decision. I assured her that, should we find someone in need, we could buy a hot dog using Patrick's $5, since I didn't think he would mind.