April 2, 2014

A Boy And His Dollars

He's fascinated by money, this seven year old boy of mine. In school, he is learning about dimes and pennies and half dollars. He's started his own collection of coins, too. He asks at least once a day for quarters and nickels out of my purse. I bought a money chart off of Amazon that shows how many of each different coin makes a dollar, how many cents each coin is worth, etc. He's practically memorized it and asks questions constantly.

I love this un-schooling that happens at home. How he learns without text books, without work sheets, just by being curious and interested in the world around him.

About a month ago, we introduced our young man to The Allowance. Along with The Allowance, we introduced The Chore Chart. You can't have one without the other, right? Mommy's pretty tired of picking up Legos . . .

So now, every Saturday morning, he stumbles down the stairs. Sleepy-eyed, dragging a blanket behind him. He bursts into my bedroom and whether I'm awake or not, he announces:

"Mommy! It's payday!"

And I think to myself, groggily on these Saturday mornings when I wish my bedroom door had a padlock, that picking up Legos wasn't so bad. . .

But what, you may ask, has our seven year old been spending his hard-earned dollars on?

Not a thing.

He's saving his money. What for?

A trip to London.


How does this kid even know about London?

(Oh yeah, his mom and dad watch Sherlock. And Dr. Who. And BBC period pieces. And . . . )

Yesterday, after school, we took a little field trip to the bank. There's one other thing Caleb has been saving his dollars for.

"Um, can I have a twenty dollar bill please?" he asked the bank teller. He handed her an envelope full of ones and fives. He's been waiting for this moment all month. The nice lady helped him count his money and then handed him the bill.

"Wow," he whispered. He's never seen one before. "Look Mommy! A twenty dollar bill!"

I'm surprised and amazed to see how excited he gets by what I consider small things. But then, $20 is a lot of money when you're seven. And he obviously felt on top of the world with that bill in his hand.

He's not so little anymore, this growing boy of mine. As his world changes, so does mine. I love it, every minute. But at the same time, I'm sad to see the innocence, the ignorance, leaving him. He's changing. And we're changing along with him.