William had his very first friends over from Kindergarten the other day. They all needed an after school snack. As I looked through my cupboards, their chioces were few. The only thing I had enough of was vanilla ice cream. They agreed but told me that according to the food pyramid they didn't need a lot of sugar and so ice cream probably wasn't the best after school snack. I responded by telling them that ice cream was about their only option and they all agreed that it would be o.k. Just this once. William has also been reminding me that he needs iron. I love 5 year olds. I realized that it was time for a Costco run. I live for Costco, but here in Ohio, the closest one is 45 minutes away. In fact, I hadn't been since we have lived here. Today was the day. I dropped Jake off at pre-school and journeyed out to Costco Land. I had an extremely short time since I had to pick up Smooch from school. I ran through the aisles and threw in everything that we needed. I preceeded to the checkout with about 45 minutes before school would be over. I had to hurry. My items were scanned. My total blazed on the screen in front of my eyes. I literally strated shaking. ""We can't afford $370," I thought to myself. I handed the lady my credit card. I was thinking about throwing up. I pushed the cart toward the exit. Instead of leaving out the exit door, I swerved my cart over to the "Return Merchandise" line. I was humilliated. I looked through all of my items looking for returnable merchandise. Anything that wasn't absolutely neccessary would have to be returned. I felt my eyes starting to water. "This is so embarrassing, I hate being poor, I hate being poor, I hate being poor." I caught myself. I began thinking, "I am so blessed, I am so blessed, I am so blessed." It didn't last long. "I hate being poor, I hate being poor." The return line was taking forever. I felt as if everybody was staring at my cart. It ws so full that items were hanging over the sides. The lady at the register even asked what I was doing in the line. I told her I had stuff to return. She smiled. It was fianlly my turn. I put a pack of unnessasary "Webkinz" up on the counter. Jake had seen them at a store weeks earlier and begged me for the frog one. They were a great price at Costco. Two for $20. I was thinking that it would be a perfect stocking stuffer. Not anymore. I then put the bags of Tulips and Fall flowers up on the counter. I thought that it would be a good teaching moment to teach the kids that the Prophet told us to plant a garden. "Maybe next year," I thought to myself. The only thing left that wasn't absolutely neccessary was the pack of $9.99 socks that I picked up for the boys. I have noticed that they need new socks with the Fall coming. They both have to wear socks to school everyday and we are running low. I picked up the socks and looked a them. A rebellious spirit entered into my heart and I said to myslef, "I'm keeping the socks." It felt good. I drove the long way back to Jake's school in the pouring rain and arrived 20 minutes late. Poor Jake. I felt terrible. Luckily, as he came running outside in the pouring rain, I noticed a huge smile on his face. He didn't seem to care that I was late. He didn't seem to care if we were poor. He would never know that he almost got a Webkinz that day. All he cared about was that I loved him and had come to pick him up. I guess sometimes it's good to be a three year old. No money, no Webkinz, no garden. He would never know. Thank you Jacob for your example. A smile is all I needed. As long as I have your smile in my mind, I will try to never be embarrassed at the return counter again.