Henry got $50 for Christmas and he’s been saving it for something “big.” Throughout the year, whenever he said he wanted something, I’d remind him about his money.
“No. I don’t want to waste my $50 on that.” It was a good regulator. He liked having that $50 bill more than a SuperSoaker. More than a new Nintendo DS game, more than anything else. Until Wednesday, when he saw “it.”
He’d been talking about wanting something like it. But I didn’t know how serious he was until when walking through Costco he stopped in his tracks and said, “I want to go home and get my $50! Can I?”
We went home. Discussed his purchase. Waited a day, and then I took him back.
He grabbed the box off the shelf and started walking toward the checkout, saying, “Okay, let’s get this party started.” The box was wider than his body.
In the checkout line, he was bouncing. He was concerned about how he was going to manage giving the clerk the Costco card and count his cash. He had to chip in a few bucks to cover the tax. I told him to relax, he could handle it. He wanted my help but I reassured him. He put his purchase on the conveyor and waited his turn.
There was a little boy in line in front of us eying Henry’s choice. Henry told him he was buying it with his own money. Money he’d had since Christmas. The boy’s dad told his son there was a lesson in that. Henry’s excitement was infectious. The clerk was excited for him. The people behind us were excited.
Henry counted his money, handed it over, waited for the penny change, pocketed it, pocketed his wallet and proudly walked out of the store with his treasure in his arms.
When we got to the van, with only the dim overhead light, we assembled it and made sure it fit properly. He wanted me to drive to grandma and grandpa’s so he could show them.
On the way, he asked why the box said for children 5 and up. “I’m not a child.”
“You’re not?” I asked. “What are you?”
And he said, “I’m a man.”
And I’m sure, for that moment, he felt like one.