Once upon a time in my 20’s I lived in Philadelphia. And once upon my 20’s the Big City Philly Girl returned to visit her roots in Maine.
I was visiting my father for a week when he realized the clerk at Ye Ol’ Wheels and Deals forgot to charge my father for 2 of the 4 tires they had put on his truck.
My Dad’s response: Just Great! Now I have to go back down to Windham in the morning to pay for those.
My response: Why? (sarcastically)
My Dad’s response: Because I didn’t pay for them.
So!?! It wasn’t Dad’s fault. He was there, wallet in hand, ready to pay for the tires – all 4 of them – the clerk messed up.
Fast forward 15 years.
I’m coming out of the market with my 6 y/o with a pissy attitude and my screeching 3 y/o when I realize that the cucumbers look like they haven’t moved in over an hour – pretty much since I put them into the cart at the beginning of the trip.
My response: Oh Crap O La!
My Daughter: What’s wrong mom.
I search the receipt – “the clerk forgot to charge me for those 2 cucumbers“
Odd look from my 6 y/o.
Me: That means We didn’t pay for them.
Keeper: Mom we can’t take things without paying for them, that’s stealing.
I looked at my 3 year old, who it took every last bit of my strength to strap her into that car seat, as she continued to kick and scream and I knew without a doubt that there was no excuse I could come up with that would be able to keep me from going back into that store, up to the service desk and paying for those 2 stupid cucumbers – Oh and did I mention it was pouring rain!
Before I could say a word, Keeper unbuckled her seatbelt and jumped out of the truck. I handed her the cucumbers as I climbed back into the super cab to release our Tasmanian Devil and in we walked.
The entire time my oldest telling everyone that “We didn‘t pay for these so we have to bring them back so we can pay for them or that‘s stealing.” All the time she was acting as if I’m the superhero because we went back into the store to pay the $1.36.
Fast Forward 2 weeks.
Today I’m in the market – joyful that the girls are in school and I have time to shop by myself. As I’m filling the truck with bags I realize – yup the wine coolers are in the same place as the cucumbers were 2 weeks ago. A quick scan of my receipt shows that I wasn’t charged for my alcohol – I sigh. Hang my head. Take a very deep breath. And yes, I walked my ass back into the market with my 4 pack to pay for the stupid wine coolers.
If I don’t live the example every day, I won’t remember to live the example when it’s important.