Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Best Money I've Ever Spent

My children spent most of yesterday afternoon and this morning digging for pirate treasure next to our house.

Me: Hey, guys! Now don't get muddy over there!

Them: Mom! It's only dirt.

I shrug. They're right again. After all, I like playing in the dirt, too. I call it gardening.

The trio started digging holes to fill up colorful plastic buckets with dirt. Once the holes were about 6 inches deep, the fun started. Each one found a different 'treasure' -- a grime-caked penny, a broken piece of green plastic, and another grime-caked penny (possibly the same one -- no one knows.)

Their imaginations sparked.

Primo: Mom! Hey, Mom! Is our house, like 100 years old?
Me: Yep.
Primo: Did pirates exist a hundred years ago?
Me: Sure they did, but... goes on to explain the history of piracy and the sad fact that we live in the middle of the continent so pirate sightings are unlikely... stops when noticing reality does not register with this group.

They continued to dig, creating a fictional pirate who must have buried his secret treasure right on our property. When I asked questions, they had an answer for everything.

Big D: This must have been a real Pirate cove!
Me: But how would a pirate even have gotten here?
Big D: (looks at me like I have popcorn-for-brains) He walked, of course! He must have needed a rest from pirating, and he saw our cozy house...

Nightfall did not stop the speculation about the anonymous pirate. I heard them talking about it in bed. This morning, the talk continued. The children strategized at breakfast, guessing that since there were 'treasures' in each of the three holes, if they connected them, they might find a real pirate treasure! "Mom," they said, "we'll split the treasure since we did the work... but don't worry. We'll give you and Dad two gold pieces."

We went outside and back to work they went. There was much digging, but less finding. After at least 40 minutes, they started to get discouraged. No mom can bear to hear her children losing faith. I suggested that they go have a pirate voyage on the swingset in the back yard. They grabbed their nerf swords and ran. I told them I planned to continue weeding the garden.

What followed were approximately 67 seconds during which my whereabouts remain unknown.

Soon the pirate voyage was over, and here came the bunch hurrying up the driveway. "I'm the captain and this is my first mate," my son said, indicating his brother. Turning to his sister, he continued, "And this is my other first mate. We're ready to dig!"

I waited, continuing to weed (or pretending to). What followed was a wild series of whoops and hollers that could only mean...

"Treasure! Mom, we found it! We really found it!"

During the next half hour, 42 cents in all were discovered. My oldest divided it evenly among the crew. Big D said, "Sorry Mom, you can't have any because we did all the digging. Besides, you have a ton of money already."

That's alright. I think that was the best 42 cents I've ever spent.

Midwest Mom

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