Pay It Forward

Did you ever have an epiphany that just knocks you right over the head?  I was sitting at my desk today, eating my English muffin with peanut butter and I had one of those moments.  There were no trumpets or heavenly beings, nor did a light bulb actually light up over my head, but I was still aware that a deep and powerful truth was being revealed to me. 

Let me back up.  Ten minutes before this sacred moment, I was wrestling open the English muffin to put it into the office toaster oven.  The muffin ripped and became crumbly because the expiration date was sometime earlier in June.  The toaster oven had unidentifiable food stuck to bottom of it from thousands of lunches.  However, that was what I brought to eat, so I persevered and finished toasting the crumbly, sad muffin and then spread my peanut butter on it.  I thought to myself, “This lunch is pathetic, why don’t I just go to the library cafe and buy something?”  That’s when it hit me: I gave ALL my money to my kids this morning so that THEY could go walk over to Subway for lunch.  That’s right.  I need a t-shirt that says, “My kids took all my money and all I got was a lousy English muffin.”

There’s really more to this revelation than bad lunches and lack of cash.  The bottom line is: I’m becoming my mother.  I had flashbacks of her standing while eating dinner when there weren’t enough chairs at a function, borrowing from the grocery money so that we could have something we asked for (she was a stay-at-home mom until I was in middle school), and working two part time jobs to save money for me for college.  I’ll bet that she would have given me her last $20 so that I could buy my lunch and she would have taken peanut butter to work.  Next time I see her, I’ll have to tell her, “Thanks, Mom.”  Then I’ll tell my kids how grateful they should be to have me as their mom – that should go over well.  I hope that someday they can pay it forward too.



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