A cardinal is calling just outside my front window. Another answers from further away.
Mo is on the phone with Grammy. I can only hear one side of that conversation.
Both conversations speak to me.
Mo is leaving in 10 days. She is going to England with her school's choirs. The trip was expensive, but we told her we would pay for half of it if she paid the other half. I don't think that was what she wanted to hear. Like most teenagers, she probably didn't fully register the reality of how much the trip would cost or consider who would be paying for it until we gave her the responsibility. We've known about the trip for nearly a year, and she's worked steadily (sometimes slowly) toward the goal since then. There were a few fund raisers, and she's been babysitting to earn the rest of it. She's nearly done paying us back.
She told Grammy just a couple of minutes ago that some kids' parents paid for the trip, but most of her friends have had to earn and contribute part of the money themselves. She said that it makes the trip more meaningful to her.
Music to my ears!
Yesterday Steve and I worked on our taxes. He had already entered some of the information in the program, but we had some paperwork to track down and deductions to add up. We went out for lunch afterward and used up a gift card that we'd had for months. We only had to pay a few dollars, so I left a big tip.
I just felt like I should leave a big tip, so I did. It was fun.
A few weeks ago I got an offer from CVS to get up to two $25 gift cards with new or transferred prescriptions to their pharmacy. I usually throw those offers away because we have a local pharmacy just a few blocks from here and it seems that it's not worth the hassle. This time, we decided to give it a try. Steve got two prescriptions transferred to CVS.
It was definitely a hassle.
We spent his hard earned $50 bucks, plus a few more after lunch yesterday.
I feel like we accomplished something special by ridding ourselves of three gift cards. We got full enough stomachs to skip dinner, we left a big tip, he has a new beard trimmer (his had broken), we have rechargeable AA and AAA batteries, I have new razors (for my occasional leg shaving), and a couple of other things I can't recall right now.
Mo babysat last night for a friend of ours. Our friend paid Mo much more than a babysitter could ever be worth, but she said the extra is spending money for Mo's trip. Mo was thrilled and gave her a big hug, which pleased her. Everybody is happy.
I wonder why I am not more generous. If leaving a big tip makes me happy, if a little something extra for a job well done means so much to the receiver and the giver, why do I forget this and have to relearn it?
And why did it just occur to me that we were most generous to our daughter when we required her to invest in the trip too?
How can you be generous today? A small gesture may result in a sweet song.
Here's a link to one of the performances. This one is at Gloucester Cathedral.