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So the boys and I were sitting in Cracker Barrel tonight for dinner when Jeremy took the conversation in a different direction. (What else is new?)
It all started when the pair of them hounded me for toys from the Cracker Barrel store – specifically, two new Webkinz. (Because six isn’t enough!) I kept them at bay until we sat down to eat, and the pleading continued when Jeremy told me he already named the limited edition turkey he so desperately wanted. Please, Mom, please.
“Jeremy, we don’t have money to buy things like Webkinz and toys this week. We’re buying food and gas and that’s much more important,” I say matter-of-factly. No sympathy, no jolly “Christmas is coming soon so let’s wait and see what’s under the tree” speech. I continued to tear apart my baked potato blankly when he continued.
“Well I know something that’s more important than food and gas that you had to pay for,” he says with a smile. He nods his head in my direction trying to bait me.
“I don’t know what you mean,” I say, not playing. This mama is tired.
“Something MORE important than food and gas,” he repeats. He glances at Jack and back at me. We don’t get it.
“Us!” he says, beaming. “You bought me and Jack and we’re more important than food and gas.”
I pause to imagine Chuck and me at the check-out line holding two babies.
“We didn’t purchase you, Jeremy,” I say. “I mean, there wasn’t a shopping cart or anything.”
“But you did buy us, right? From the nurses?”
“No, more like from the lawyers,” I say, giggling at my own little private joke. “Seriously, we payed legal fees to adopt you, but we didn’t buy you. It’s just like when other moms and dads have to pay the hospital for giving birth to their children.”
“Well how much did I cost anyway?” His big blue eyes had long since abandoned his hamburger and were fixated on me. He was looking for a number, something tangible he could apply as a reflection of his worth and importance.
“It doesn’t matter what we paid,” I answer. “You and Jackson are priceless.”
Satisfied, our conversation turned back to Webkinz and robots and all the little treats they wanted and I wouldn’t buy. Though we managed to escape the Old Country Store without toys, I did buy one thing, aside from our dinner: an Advent calendar. I’m not a total Scrooge, you know.