Tragedy struck our house last night.
We ran out of candy in the candy basket.
“Mo-om,” Cael stuttered out, voice already beginning to wrack with sobs. “There are no twea-eats.”
Oh, dear. No tweats.
I have clearly fallen down on the job. I have not lived up to expectations. I have failed to provide proper sustenance for my poor, deprived children.
My children were not placated by my assurances that we would live through an entire night without treats in the house. I think, in fact, that it may have been a crisis of faith moment for my kids… one of those crystal clear times when you realize that your parents are fallible and can, in fact, make impacting, life-altering mistakes.
Like I said, tragedy.
After I got done hugging kids and wiping tears (and — OK, fine — assuring them that we’d buy more candy soon), I was pleased to see that things quieted down relatively quickly. I mean, I wasn’t thrilled that there were histrionics to start, but after the drama we entered a period of calm as the kids drifted out of the room.
It took me a while to notice the whispering.
And the footsteps up the stairs. And down the stairs. And up the stairs. And down the stairs.
And some kind of clinking.
But when the second kid came back into the family room clutching candy firmly in hand and sucking noisily on another piece, I caught right on that something was going down.
I’m quick that way.
Abby, my eldest, is a saver. For example, she saves money. We keep a bank for her, and I’m pretty sure she has more saved at the moment than we can pay out.
She also saves candy. From Christmas. From going to the movies. From friends. From Valentines Day. From gifts. Yep, she’s a saver alright.
“Um, Cael?” I asked my sticky, happy son. “Are you eating candy?”
“Yep!” Cael answered.
“Where did you get the candy, Cael?” I asked.
“From Abby!” my thrilled little boy answered.
“Abby gave you her candy?” I asked, starting to feel all warm and mushy that my 12-year-old was graciously and generously giving her sweets to her sad siblings to make them feel better.
“Nope!” Cael replied. “I bought it from her.”
“You bought it from her?” I clarified.
“Yes, Mommy! I gave Abby four monies, and she gave me candy. That’s buying, she said.”
So that’s the other sound I’d heard. The clinking of change in the piggy banks. And out of the piggy banks.
My 12-year-old is running a secret candy ring out of her bedroom.
Hmmm. How to spin this.
Abby’s an entrepreneur? She’s leveraging her assets? She’s running a small business? She’s utilizing principles of supply and demand?
Or she’s a back alley candy dealer, and she’s taking advantage of people in need.
Proud? Dismayed? Ambivalent? What’s the appropriate parental response here?
I’m going with no harm, no foul.
Everyone seems perfectly happy with this arrangement, and it’s saving me a trip to the store.