The Tale of the Mother, the Son and the Online Auction
Once upon a time there was a very thrifty mother. She was really very thrifty, always on the search for the next deal or discount. She had been this way for as long as she could remember and was proud of the many ways she saved money for her family.
But even thrifty mothers have secrets, and this mother kept a big one from her children. Late at night or early in the morning while her children slept, the woman bought her children toys. But not just any toys. Toys on Ebay. Used toys at a very steep discount. Her children didn’t suspect her in the least – they were just happy to know that priority mailboxes were often filled with special surprises just for them.
One day two boxes arrived in the mail. The mother explained to her children, “If you are very good today you can each open one of the boxes after dinner tonight.” She knew that one of the boxes was full of Barbie dolls for her daughter – she had won an Ebay auction the day before for $8. The other box was for her son, James. It contained 32 Garfield comic books, his very favorite cartoon character for many years. James had spent the last 2 years reading the same 3 Garfield comic books every night before bed, so the mother was particularly excited about this gift. On top of it all, she had won the entire collection on Ebay for $8.50, a real steal.
James waited patiently all day long for his big chance. Toward the end of dinner, James asked his mother, “Can I please open my box now?” “Of course,” said the mother. “It is the best surprise ever. You are going to love what is in that box!”
James rushed over to the door. The mother could hear him tearing open the box. Then there was silence. “Can you believe it?” asked the mother. “What an amazing surprise came in the mail!” There was a long pause, and then James replied, “Wow, mom. Thank you! This is a really nice present!” “Well, come on,” said the mother. “Bring them out to the living room and I will let you pick one or two to take to bed this evening.”
Slowly James walked into the room holding the box. Of Barbies. The mother quickly realized what had happened and exclaimed, “No, James! Open up the other box!” James obeyed, leaving the box of Barbies on the floor where his little sister rushed over and began to play enthusiastically. Shortly James returned, beaming, with a much different box in his arms. He spent the remainder of the evening looking through his new treasures and selected 2 special books to read in bed that night.
The mother laughed to herself that night, while also thinking, How very lucky I am to have such a sweet, appreciative son. He has such compassion toward others that he didn’t want to disappoint me by not liking his “gift” of Barbies. James may be handicapped in many ways, but there is nothing disabled about his heart.
She went to bed that evening feeling grateful for her children, and for Ebay.