I remember my parents telling me as a little girl that money didn't grow on trees. I'm not sure if I totally understood what they were getting at back then, but today my eight-year-old daughter inadvertently reminded me of what they must have been aiming for. Having spent much of the afternoon shopping with my three children, I am sufficiently exhausted by the time we make our last stop. Walking up and down the aisles there is a constant chorus of, "Can we get this one?", "Mom, what about this?", "Mom, let's buy this." I do my best to tune it out while the mantra 'must keep moving' runs on a continuous loop through my overtired brain.
Having filled my cart more or less with what I came for despite the noise from the choir (okay, there may be a few extras thrown in there), I tell the kids it is time to check out. My daughter spots something on a nearby shelf and says, "Hey, Mom..." I stop her. "Honey, I think we've spent enough money for one day. We don't need anything else." Far too innocently she retorts, "But you have a credit card." I can't help it. This makes me laugh out loud. I try and explain how credit cards work. I tell her that I will still have to pay the bill at the end of the month. "What bill?" she asks. I give up. "Never mind," I say, and wonder if maybe my parents really did know what they were talking about. I figure it's worth a shot, so I say, "Honey, money doesn't grow on trees." She looks at me like I have two heads, smiles and says dreamily, "I wish it did." Well, that we can agree on.