In the spirit of Lent, we have a fresh one of these going in our house. And quite predictably, the resident 4 year old is totally obsessed with it. She has taken the challenge of removing all those “thorns” from Jesus’ crown seriously and is on hyper-alert, always seeking new opportunities for earning herself a toothpick.
Moments after I had put her in bed tonight, she reappeared downstairs. She approached me with a shy smile and handed me a drawing she had made of a “beautiful girl.” And a penny.
“It’s a shiny penny,” she told me with earnest. “You can take it to the penny store and buy anything you want.”
“Oh really?” my cynical side thought. “Will it buy me a little girl who stays in her bed?”
Perhaps Gabby was worried that her generous act of charity would pass without notice. Or worse yet, without a toothpick.
“It’s a free penny,” she further explained. “And I am giving it to you because you never have nothing at all. You don’t have much money, I think, and so you need it.”
Her small hands gripped one another, twisting and turning, as she stood before me in her pink floral nightgown. She bit her lower lip and waited for my reply.
I smiled. I thanked her. And her efforts earned her a toothpick, fair and square.
Because, say what you like about my crazy mother-life, this much is absolutely true: I never have nothing at all.