Ali gets a $5 allowance every week.
She has a nifty little bank in which she divides it carefully between “Bank”, “Store”, and “Church”.
She supposedly gets this allowance every Monday, but I’ve been known to forget for months in a row (and she’s been known to let me), so that when I do pay up, I have to pay up big. Fortunately, her kindergarten math curriculum didn’t touch on penalties, late charges, and interest.
Besides the fact that I get behind in giving the allowance, I get even further behind in helping her count the allowance and then spend it.
So it had piled up. Substantially. To the point that one more quarter wasn’t going to fit through any roofs in that village.
It took us two mornings to count the money in “Store” and “Church”, and she ended up with $61 to spend and $104 to give.
(I guess she’d raided the spending at some point without getting out her Church money.)
She was thrilled to take her money to Church, and absolutely couldn’t wait to spend her $61.
We talked about going to the Toy Store, but I had a better idea.
“You know how you’re always looking for new craft supplies? What if we went to Michael’s…and you could buy your own?! You could get a lot for $61!”
“That would be awesome!!! I need some new things to do during quiet time!”
“Okay. We’ll go really soon.”
That was on Friday. The weekend was busy, so we didn’t make it. She reminded me a few times, but nothing too annoying. But before one of her quiet times, she asked,
“What can I do for quiet time today? I don’t have any new craft supplies yet, so I’m going to be bored.”
“Why don’t you write letters? You love doing that.”
“Okay! Can you make me a list of people I can write?”
So I made her a list of grandparents and a few friends.
After quiet time, she presented me with envelopes, labeled and sealed.
“Um…you already sealed these?”
“What did you write in them?”
“Oh you know…stuff.”
I’ve pre-read many of her letters, and they’re pretty much all the same, so I obediently addressed her envelopes and mailed them Monday morning.
We finally made it to Michael’s on Tuesday. It was pretty much fantastic. She picked out a ton of stuff she wanted, made over-analytical decisions with regards to the quantity and quality of use she could get out of each option, and left with a bag full of craft supplies and five dollars to spare.
As we walked out to the parking lot, she skipped and exclaimed with glee,
“That was SO fun!! I can’t believe how much craft supplies I have now!”
“I know! You’re going to have so much to do!!”
“And I’ll have even MORE craft supplies when everyone gets my letters!!”
“What do you mean?”
“When they get my letters, they’re going to send me craft supplies.”
I stopped walking.
“Wait a minute. You mean that you asked for craft supplies in your letters?”
She stopped skipping, looked up at me, and blinked innocently.
We had a small talk about what begging was and why we don’t do it.
“But you TOLD me to write letters when I didn’t have any craft supplies…”
I made a mental note to apologize to all of her friend’s parents.
…But then I convinced myself that her note was probably too illegible for my friends to perceive her begging anyway, and forgot about it.
Until the next day, when I got this text from Ali’s best friend’s Mom:
And here’s the note:
So basically, “I am on a crafting mission, and I need your help. Just send supplies – you don’t even have to pray about it.”
I groaned as I looked at her letter, then desperately tried to remember all of the friends to which she had sent notes and sent an apology text to everyone.
And, one by one, they all confirmed back that yes, their child had indeed received overt crafting solicitation from my child.
We now have a strict No-Sealing Policy in our house, but at least I left this incident with a confidence in my heart that when it comes time for Ali to take that first high school summer missions trip, she is going to be the master of support letter writing.
In fact, if you want to hire her now, I’m sure she’d love to help you out – in exchange for quality craft supplies.