Saturday, March 15, 2008

How I Became A Crook

The kids and I went to the toy store last evening to pick out a small toy for each of them to unwrap on Easter Sunday. My son also had four dollars from Valentine’s Day that had been given to him to use at the toy store, so it seemed a good time to spend it. I had previously placed the money into his coin bank for safekeeping.

As I sat shaking the contents of my son’s bank out over his bed I felt I was remiss in not having a lookout posted at the door to warm me of any approaching persons. It felt like robbery to remove the four one-dollar bills. Random loose change fell out with a satisfying “clink” into a neat little pile; the paper money, on the other hand, had to be pried through the round opening in the bottom of the bank and some of it was rather difficult to coax out.

The fact that it seemed the job would require tools made it seem even more unorthodox. My palms began to sweat, and even though I was the only adult at home my adrenaline was under the impression that we were in a race against the clock: that at any moment the law would show up and I would forever be ashamed to call myself Mommy.

It was such a horrid experience that I have resolved never to keep spending money in the coin bank again. My offending hands felt so dirty when they put that crisp green paper into my wallet. From now on, a plain white envelope with my son’s name on it will have to suffice as a reasonable storage place for money that’s not meant to be saved.

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