Tuesday, September 14, 2010


I am a sucker. I readily admit my suckerness. So who was the latest sucker-er? My beautiful firstborn son Lucas. Yesterday afternoon, Sophie, Nicholas and I waited in the hallway at Lucas' school for his class to be let out. As the the kids turned the corner in what I believe was supposed to be a line but instead looked like a bunch of drunken sailors pouring out of a seaside bar, Lucas saw me standing there and came running up excitedly. "Are we going to the book fair, mom?" The Scholastic Book Fair is at his elementary school this week. I vaguely remember telling him that we would visit the book fair, but do not recall telling him exactly when we would be doing this. I certainly didn't tell him it would be Tuesday. I responded by saying, "We'll go to the book fair tomorrow, honey. Momma doesn't have any money with me today." In actuality, that was not a lie...I didn't have any cash with me....though I probably would not have been above lying at that moment to avoid the preadolescent throngs in the tiny school library. All I wanted to do was get home, put on my comfy clothes, and relax. To my surprise, Lucas quite suddenly burst into tears and buried his head in my side, as to hide the tears from his onlooking classmates. Caught completely off guard, I hugged him and asked him what was wrong. He responded by sniffling and saying that he had a rough day and just really wanted to go to the book fair. I promised we would go tomorrow and headed out the door with my arms around Lucas and the two little ones in tow. As we walked to the waiting minivan, I asked Lucas how his day went. He said his day was hard and that there was too much work and that....sniff...he didn't even get to talk to anyone all day long. Again, he burst into tears. Ok...I highly doubt that he spent the entire day working his fingers to the bone. I seriously doubt that he did not talk to a single person all day long. Rather, I think it was a case of his late-night begging catching up with him. I am pretty sure Lucas was simply exhausted. Lucas is a child that requires a full eight hours of sleep, at minimum, to function. Anything less than eight hours, and he easily dissolves into the floor in a puddle of random emotions. The previous night, Lucas had come out of his room several times after I tucked him in begging to stay up with me. Each time, I responded with a firm no...it was a school night, after all...and shuffled his butt back to bed. I believe it was pretty close to 10:00pm the last time he came out. Definitely past his bed time and most certainly too late to allow him the necessary sleep to function with any amount of composure or sanity the following day.

So that brings me back to 2:10pm yesterday afternoon. I had managed to wrangle everyone into their corresponding car seats and we were headed home. Lucas continued sniffling and blubbering in the rear of the van. I told him we would stop on the way home and I would get cash out of the ATM and stick it in my wallet so there would be NO chance of me not having cash the following day. I promised we would definitely go to the book fair on Wednesday. So I stopped and got cash. I looked in the rearview mirror at Lucas and assured him that I was putting the cash in my wallet at that very moment. Lucas looked up at me with crocodile tears creating dramatic streaks through the dirt on his face. He always comes home from school with dirt on his face...? His beautiful blue eyes were puffy and his nose was running. I admit it...I am a sucker for those blue eyes. At that point, I gave in. I became the chump. I turned the van around and we headed back to Lucas' school. I piled everyone back out of the minivan and back into the building. We trudged up the stairs and headfirst into the mass of begging children and bewildered-looking parents. We wandered from bookshelf to bookshelf, perusing the stacks looking for that perfect book for each of my three children. Not surprisingly, the books I thought they would love were quickly rejected as "lame" or "booo-rrring." Finally, after much debate, the kids settled on their books. Lucas got a Star Wars book. Nicholas got a Zhu-Zhu Pets book. And Sophie, in a magnificent fit of indecisiveness, finally "settled" for a Disney princess sticker book. We waited in line, paid for our new books, and heading back out the door. This time around, the tears were gone. Rather, I was followed to the car by a trio of happy, chattering, smiling children.

Yes, I was duped. I am a sucker. However, this sucker thinks it was worth a $4.99 book to rid Lucas of his tears and bring a smile to his face again. I wish something as simple as that could turn my day around. Then again, I guess Lucas' smile can turn my day around...and that's free.

Well...sometimes it's free. And other times, it costs $4.99.


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