Last night, we hit up our favorite Chinese restaurant. We go there often enough that a couple of the staff recognize us when we show up, and they all are very good with Maura.
Last night was no different – we sat, ordered, drank tea, ate, watched Maura work her magic with chopsticks (when in doubt, just stab the food with the stick), and then it was her most favorite time of the meal – cookie time!
We get the bill and three fortune cookies. We each take one and read generic fortunes of “Good things will happen in your future”, and eat our cookies. But then, one of the waiters who knows us showed up with a bunch more cookies, much to Maura’s excitement. She takes one, breaks it open, “reads” it (because she’s still learning how to read), and then passes it to Josh.
Josh reads it – “You will never need to worry about a steady income.”
Josh looked at his daughter. “No, that’s my job.”
And we laughed.
But it was the truest fortune we’ve ever gotten there. Maura will never worry about money. Her brain doesn’t work that way. She sort of gets the concept of money – you need it to buy things – but beyond that basic concept, she is vague. Money for bills is not on her radar. Budgeting is a concept she doesn’t get. She knows we take care of her, feed her when she wants food, pay for stuff at the store.
We should just be happy that the girl is easy to please. She can have expensive taste, but at the same time, she’s just as happy with a $3 Slinky as she is a $500 trampoline. She doesn’t get brand names, so doesn’t need the $65 tee from Aeropostale, she’s cool with the $5 Old Navy tee.
Household goods? They appear magically via Target. Water? Electricity? Internet? Well that all just magically happens. Some days, I say yes to lunch at Chipotle and a trip to Target. Other days, I’m limiting her to just one thing at the store (which means she picks out five things and we haggle down to two or three) and walk her past the Starbukc’s while chanting “No, we bought a drink, we don’t need Starbuck’s.” (which is a lie, you always need a Starbuck’s, am I right?)
There is no cost involved in any of this in Maura’s mind. She knows is gift cards buys you stuff, and Mom’s cards can buy stuff, and cold hard cash can buy stuff. How the cards buy stuff is something she doesn’t worry about.
We do work on it. I’m the mom in the toy aisle going “That’s $20. That’s too much. Can we find something that’s $10?” Eventually, she may get it. Maybe. In the meantime, I’m working on it.
So no, the idea of having an income, and a steady one at that, is not something Maura worries about. Or will ever worry about. She’s our forever girl for a reason, and this is just one of them.