It was two weeks before Christmas. I stood in our local Dollar Store, watching my six-year-old son out of the corner of my eye, trying my hardest to make it seem like I wasn’t looking. Per his request, he strolled alone, craning his neck to see over the plastic cart he pushed, doing his best to act grown up. In his left palm was pressed his only dollar bill, “plus six cents for tax, Mom.”
He slowly and deliberately weaved up and down each aisle, calculating and considering every option.
He was on a mission. A secret mission.
“Don’t watch me, Mom,” he had pleaded. “I’m gonna do it all by myself.”
He lingered in the kitchen utensil aisle, but I turned my back as he approached the checkout and proudly gave the correct change to the cashier.
I kept my promise, and had absolutely no idea what he had purchased with his only savings.
A week later, he convinced a babysitter to help him wrap his mystery buy, void of any other witnesses.
The countdown continued.
At last, Christmas morning arrived.
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Photo credit: Chris Waits