"Thanks.." I say, as he hands me the jar, "You know, there's only a few things that can cause a complete meltdown in my home, and one of them is lack of peanut butter!"
He laughs, "So, how many kids do you have?"
Him: "I bet you eat a lot of spaghetti.. and chicken... and tuna.."
Me: "How'd ya know?"
Him: "We had five also--five in four years.."
He looked to be about 65 or older.
Me: "Wow! that's pretty good. We only had four in five years, and then the little one.."
Him: "Why'd you wait so long to have the little one?"
Me: "We were in the military and moved a lot, and I was Huuuuuuuuuaaaaaahhhhhhh" (making a face with my eyes rolled back in my head and tongue out)
Him: "Oh, my grandson is in the military. I just went to visit him, and I didn't want to leave! I'm so proud of that boy. I never served in the military, but both my son and grandson have"
Me: "You know ,when we were in the military we were dropping more babies than bombs, and they were cheap too!" (My husband was a bomber pilot before civilian life)
So, I proceeded to tell him exactly how much each child cost us.
Our first baby was $36.00, and that was because I stayed in the hospital for almost five days.
Our second baby was $18.00.
Our third baby was $9.04.
Our fourth was free. (I'm not really sure why?)
So, yes, I gave birth 4 times for under $100.00.
Well, I had this fella laughing so hard. You could see it in his eyes. He only remembered the good things about having a big family. He loved the memories of eating spaghetti for dinner and malt-o-meal for breakfast.
When I told him that I make my husband eat oatmeal for breakfast and drive our donated car to work, he laughed even harder. (Yes, someone actually gave us a car)
I didn't need to ask him if he had any regrets about having such a large family, because there obviously was just joy when he remembered his big family. He may have (in his younger years) possibly had to give up a fancy car or a decent vacation, but no one is taking away his memories now. or his children.. or his grandchildren...
So, all the money we have goes to the grocery store and music lessons at this stage of life. So, we're not building a 401K, we're building strong minds and bodies and spirits in a few precious souls. What could be a better investment than that? And something tells me that this fella would agree.
And it's all because a giant peanut butter bucket rolled ahead of me into the aisle.