" Don't worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you." Robert Fulghum
Being one of five children in a family on a tight budget, I grew up wearing my sister’s hand-me-downs and waiting my turn for the bike we shared. I learned about want vs need, taking care of what you have, sharing and being thankful.
I also had the opportunity to learn about cost saving of another variety. Always small for my age, at six, seven and even eight years old, I easily passed for five. Family vacations found us in ticket lines at fairs and national parks. I clearly remember the signs advertising Five and Under = Free! As our family of seven arrived at the ticket window, I also remember Dad saying to the person in the ticket booth, “Two adults and three children.” My younger brother was the only one under five, but I knew better than to say anything.
This didn’t seem all that wrong to me when I was young. That is, until I married a man to whom honesty is ALWAYS what you live by. If the waitress forgets to add the dessert to our bill, if the clerk undercharges us, he ALWAYS rights that mistake. And I hate to admit that I still struggle to tell a store clerk she’s undercharged me imagining how nice it would be to have that extra savings.
My Dad was a wonderful man and our family holds a very deep and dear place for me, but it makes me think about what we teach our children each day – both subtly and intentionally.