My sweet boy, Ethan is 8 years old. He's keen to our financial woes lately, but hasn't said a whole lot about them. (Aside from agreeing to be thankful for whatever gifts he receives for hanukkah.)
Last night after returning home from visiting Grandma, Ethan proudly showed me a $20 bill. (His allowance for helping his grandparents.)
I grinned, quickly snatching the prize from my son. Then in my best Southern drawl said, "Oh...for me?! Ya shouldn't have! Why thank ya, Suuun!"
He giggled at my corny display, but his expression returned to complete seriousness as I handed the money back to him.
"No, Mommy" he said. "Its for you!"
I just stared at him in disbelief. "For me? Why for me? Isn't this your money for helping?"
"Yes," he replied. "And I want you to have it."
My mouth just dropped open in total shock. (I mean really...an 8 yr. old willingly handing cash over to his mother?! How weird is that?)
"But, Son...this is yours. I was just teasing you, honey. I don't want your money. You keep it."
Ethan shook his head. "No, Mommy. Its for you. Besides, I can always get more."
Tears filled my eyes (I couldn't help it, I'm emotionally driven), but Dean, not being one to resist an opportunity to tease, snatched the crisp bill out of Ethan's out-stretched hand.
"Fine," Dean said in a mock-serious tone, "I'll take it for her."
And to my surprise, Ethan didn't looked at all upset by it. He was HAPPY his Dad took it because his Mother was acting like a blubbering dweeb.
But when Daddy was finished joking around a moment later and handed the money back, Ethan looked perturbed.
"But I want YOU to have it!" he insisted, growing impatient with his dense parents.
It was my mom who finally convinced Ethan to keep it and "buy something nice for Mommy" instead.
That seemed to appease him, and the situation ended for the evening.
Then this morning, whilst giving my son his morning hair-scrubbing, I asked him why he wanted to give that money to me so badly.
"Because," he began, speaking with utmost sincerity, "I wanted you and Daddy to be richer."
"Richer?" I asked, "why richer?"
"So that way you and Daddy could buy stuff for yourselves."
"But why would we need to do that?" I asked, trying to understand where his line of thinking had come from.
"I heard Daddy say you couldn't buy each other a present for hanukkah because you only had a little bit of money for our presents. So I was thinking that if you had more money, you could buy yourself something, too."
I started getting all blubbery-dweeby again, and hugged my wet, soapy, thoughtful little boy.
Isn't that one of the sweetest things you've ever heard in your whole LIFE????
I've got the bestest sonshine, ever!
(And no, I never did accept his money.) ;o)