Thursday, December 07, 2006

Today, my heart is full…

Of gratitude.

It's cold here. Really, really cold. The weather guys call it the "Arctic Express."

Up until today, I hadn't bought Anna Marie a coat yet. I'm not neglegent, but it's just now really getting cold. She has a long, fleece coat that was a hand-me-down, and that has done her up until now.

We were out for lunch, and decided to stop into our local Super Walmart. Because, what better place to waste the last half hour of your lunch break? I can't think of one.

When we got out of the Jeep, it was apparent that the fleece coat was not doing the job in the icy, icy wind. My baby was cold.

I had looked around for coats - mostly at my favorite consignment shop, Jack n' Jill's. That's where most of her clothes have come from this season, and last year I got her a really nice coat for $5.

Yep, just five bucks. Dude!

No such luck this year. I was beginning to wonder what I was going to do, and I was putting the decision off.

Well, today, I could put it off no longer.

We walked into the store, and Amanda suggested that we look for the poor kid a coat. At first I balked, saying "They're all like $20! I don't want to spend $20 for a coat she's only going to wear this year!"

(Gah! I sound like such a Scrooge! "No, honey, you aren't cold. Just shiver a little more, and your body should be fine!")

Then you know what I realized? I had $20 to spend on a coat for my kid.

Rather than hold out trying to find a cheaper coat, I could just buy her a coat. Right then. She could exit that store warmer than she entered.

What a humbling thought, that I could supply such a major need for my daughter so simply and so immediately.

It goes back to my mindset - I'm not as broke as I used to be. Especially not this year, because I've done some side jobs for a friend of mine and made some extra cash - enough to put tires on my van, and hoses, and, well, buy my kid a coat.

I felt so thankful, and awful at the same time. What do parents do who really can't spend $20 or $30 for a coat for their child? Or who have several children? Especially with Walmart doing away with layaway, what then?

I almost burst into tears in the middle of a Big Box Retailer.

I wished right there that I could mount some kind of campaign to make sure every kid in Tate County had a warm coat for winter.

We found her not just a coat, but a four-in-one coat. She'd had one of these when she was two, and it worked out really well. Our weather is so wonky around here, one needs several forms of outerwear to be comfortable.

The best part was, it was on sale! It was down to $18 from $24!

Ok, maybe not. Maybe the best part was when I put it on her as we left the store and she was warm.

Yeah, that was definitely the best part.


Valerie said...

that is a humbling thought. i'm feeling your pain and how it made you feel...and how wonderful it is that both you & AM have enough to eat and a warm place to sleep.
we are all blessed in ways we usually take for granted!

Melissa said...

I know. It is 18 degrees here this morning, and as I left the house I wondered, "why do I do this again?"

Oh, yeah, so that we can have a warm place to sleep in on our days off.