River Makes A Mint

"You promised him $3.19 for what?" I asked my 9 year old son, River. He had just come home from school, flung open the front door, and was beelining for his room, backpack still on and in defiant violation of the no shoes policy that I suck at enforcing. His friend was waiting outside, the friend that has an endless collection of Angry Birds t-shirts and, apparently, a home filled with exotic pets; the friend who had already acquired a dollar and some change from my son in exchange for him finding River's missing foot. You know, the tiny plastic feet you earn if you run a mile around the school track. The elementary kids at Riv's old school would collect them and string them onto necklaces. The more you had, the faster you seemed. River was content with two. And apparently, with half his foot collection missing, he was willing to pay handsomely for its return. 

"An Icebreakers Duo." River answered. He was headed for his dresser, sights set on his camo wallet. 

"Wait, what? An Icebreakers Duo. Isn't that a mint?" I asked, shaking my head. I wasn't positive if that was true. I feel like I just don't even know the candy aisle anymore. 

"Kinda," he answered.

"Holy NO WAY are you giving him that much money for mints. I could buy you that for a dollar at the grocery store. You are not giving him $3.19. In fact, I honestly don't think you should give him anything. But this is your decision to make. Make one. Go talk to your friend."

He shrugged, but didn't balk, he seemed to understand. He turned and went directly back outside to his waiting friend. And so I returned to my task at hand, which was helping my 6 year old try to understand that in order to count by 5s, one doesn't necessarily always have to start counting at 5. I hope she remembers these special math times with her mama. 

I heard the front door shut, completely this time, and I turned to see River finally shucking off his backpack, and kicking off his shoes in the entryway -- without untying them first. He looked up at me. He pulled his hand from his pocket, unfurled his fingers, and there in his palm was one single mint. He smiled proudly. 

"I talked him down to a dollar." And then he popped the mint in his mouth and went to his room. 


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