The torch is yet again passing through the ranks. Now it is Kiddo#4 who has learned to put the money in the church collection basket.
Just about every family that attends our church has the children put their offering in the basket. I’m not sure why this honor necessarily goes to the child, but it appears that this has become traditional child labor. And dutifully as the ushers go down the aisles with their basket-on-a-stick contraptions, the tiny hands reach up to deposit whatever their parents have given them.
About three weeks ago, Kiddo#4 was being noisy during church, so I gave him a quarter and had him put it into the basket. He didn’t know what to do at first, but then he did (and tried to take it back out again) and I whispered, “Hooray!” in his ear and he knew he had done something wonderful. What exactly he wasn’t sure, but Mommy had thought it truly wonderful. He must do it again.
Kiddo#2, who had split the job with Kiddo#3, is flat out of luck: only two kids at a time get to put things into the basket. One kid gets the regular envelope. The other gets either the second envelope (if there’s a special cause) or a dollar.
A twenty dollar bill and a one dollar bill end up together in the same wallet. The twenty dollar bill says to the one dollar bill, “I’ve been to so many splendid places! I’ve gone out to dinner, gone to the theater, gone shopping, and even gone to a sports stadium!” After a pause, the twenty dollar bill says, “And where have you gone?”
The one dollar bill replies, “I’ve been to church.”
JOKE BREAK IS OVER. BACK TO THE STORY.]
So this week, I handed Kiddo#4 the dollar bill, and then as I was putting back my wallet, Kiddo#4 took off up the aisle to where usher was basketing the nice people five or six rows in front of us.
I froze, but there was my son, knee-high to the usher, who rather than tripping over him lowered the basket so Kiddo#4 could make his holiness deposit.
Beside me, my mother and my Patient Husband smothered giggles.
Kiddo#4 then trotted back to me (after a couple of false turn-ins at other rows) and climbed into my lap. Shortly the usher passed us, taking the envelop from Kiddo#3.
And Kiddo#4 clapped to himself, saying a low, “Yay!”
A job well done in the service of God. Or something.