Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Birthday Treats


My son’s birthday is coming up so I went to the grocery store to get him treats for his class at school. I ended up picking some individually wrapped Twizzlers. When I got home he informed me that he doesn't like that kind of licorice, but that it was OK because the rest of the class might.

I told him I wanted him to have something that he liked too, since it was for his birthday. He replied, "It's OK Mom. I don't have to have a treat. I don't mind."

Even though he didn't mind, I did. So I ended up taking the licorice back and getting little individual packs of play-doh.  He was thrilled.

That night I was talking to my husband. I remarked that there was no way either of our parents would've gotten something that nice for our class birthday treats. He agreed completely; noting that he never had any kind of birthday treat at school.


It hit me that the reason I went to so much trouble was because of a single troubling birthday memory.

I was probably in 4th grade. Mom purchased my birthday treats, from those huge candy bins at the back of the store, that I assume are stocked once when the store has its grand opening and finally emptied when it closes down a hundred years later. Mom dropped the treats off at the school for me. I opened up the bag to discover 15 butterscotch hard candies and 15 of what I thought were chocolate hard candies.

First of all, it's classic that Mom counted out the exact number of what was probably the cheapest candies in
the store. Second of all, she didn't read the label on the "chocolate" candy or she would have discovered they were actually "coffee" candy.

Since we lived in Bountiful, Utah, a predominantly LDS community I was mortified. Everyone knew it was against our religion to drink or eat anything with coffee in it.

So there I was standing in the front of everyone by myself as the rest of the class sat staring at me while I passed out my birthday treats. I started out going around the room asking which kind the kids wanted, only I said, "chocolate or butterscotch". It didn't take long, though before shouts of, "Ewww this isn't chocolate. It's coffee flavor" were heard throughout the room.

I remember begging kids at each table to take the "chocolate" while hurrying as fast as I could around the other tables so that more and more kids wouldn't catch on.

I started with, "I promise it's chocolate.  The other kids are lying. It's good. It's my favorite." Finally I resulted to, "It's just flavoring. It's not real coffee."

Not only was I passing out coffee, but I was lying about it and encouraging the other kids to take it too. At least the one kid in there that didn't share my faith was happy about the coffee candy. He ended up with ten times the amount of treats as everyone else and I gained a new friend. I guess it wasn't all bad.

1 comment:

  1. It is amazing how much those childhood experiences affect us years later. Unfortunately, that thought always comes to me right after I have A Mommy Meltdown and then I'm sure that I've scarred my children for life.

    You did great coming through for your boy.

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