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The very happy economy

When the Target clerk tried to give her the change from her first-ever purchase, Beatrix’s little fingers were splayed—the coins fell through. They bounced all over the check-out lane, rolling in every direction. “Sorry!” she laughed. We bent and found all the coins we could. She dropped them into her tiny purse, which she dug out of a pile of toys on her bedroom floor. The clerk handed the white plastic bag to her and said thank you. We walked away.

“Did you see how much money the lady gave me?” she said with the same excitement lottery winners have at their news conference. It is odd. Beatrix gave the clerk a $10 bill and a $1 bill to buy the Zsu Zsu puppy. That’s two pieces of paper. In return, she got back like 8 coins! More money! Shopping is so cool. You get a new toy and leave with more money.

She’s only in kindergarten and just learning about money—in more ways than one. It burns holes in Hello Kitty banks. Sometimes, it’s not enough to buy the big Lalaloopsy, but it can buy two of the minis. But then, over there, do you see? Zsu Zsu Puppies. That would bring the collection to three…what to do, what to do? Suggestions that she doesn’t have to buy something today, perhaps waiting for more tooth fairy money so the big Lalaloopsy is attainable, are met with a flat-out no.

I prod her to choose, realizing this is the way it will probably always be. Shopping with my youngest daughter was an exercise in scratching off aisles, backtracking, considering too many possibilities, and gratification. Watching her make another tiny leap out of small-childhood is part of a very happy economy.

Owner of Three Zsu Zsu Puppies

Like Beatrix with her bouncing, noisy coins, I am stunned I get back so much more than I give. The difference is what I receive from the tender days of my kids’ lives isn’t a false payout. It’s priceless.

3 comments to The very happy economy

  • Brian

    I’ll tell you what is priceless — that picture! Look at those eyes! 😀

  • sonja lange

    She is stunning.
    We give allowances around here and it is amazing how tight fisted they can get with their own money…my oldest three have more money than me on any given day. They are learning to save up and how hard it is to hand over.
    I love reading your blog and tweets – big fan. Thanks for sharing your life.

  • Oh my WORD, Gretchen, look at her! At that photo! At those amazing, exquisite eyes. By the way, my spam word capture is “lovely.” Seriously.

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