What age is it acceptable to leave the kids at home? They may come home to an empty house after school, but one parent is usually home from work just an hour or two later. They might get left for an hour or two while we run errands or pick up other kids. But to leave them alone for an entire weekend? That might be on the extreme side…These parents may have been a little too trusting!
“They’re going to give us twenty bucks for it?” I asked my sister, Melva, in disbelief.”Are you sure?”
“They said twenty” my sister repeated. “Thirty if we throw in the old cabinet radio.”
“Sold!” we exclaimed in unison, giving each other a high five. We couldn’t believe what was happening. All we did was post a sign that said “Garage Sale,” and our yard was swarming with shoppers. We sold the baby crib I’d long since outgrown, clothes, jewelry, dishes, antique records—whatever we could find around the house that was old and seemingly useless.
Mom and Dad were away on vacation, and we were determined to surprise them with more money than they could ever make in one weekend. Each time the stock on the front lawn ran low, one of us would excitedly return to the house to find more items to sell. On one trip, we weren’t quick enough, and a few of the customers came in after us.
“How much would you take for that two-piece sofa set?”one woman asked.
My sister and I looked at each other. It certainly wasn’t new, and Mom had been talking about replacing it. Still, it was our living room furniture. If we sold it, what would the family have to sit on?
“We don’t really know if we can sell that…”we hedged.
“I’ll give you ten bucks for each piece,” she coaxed.
Ten dollars? That would be twenty bucks for the whole set! We had no idea how much it would cost to replace, but we did know another twenty bucks would bring our day’s total to over three hundred dollars! Mom and Dad were going to be so proud of us. They were going to be thrilled. They were going to be …
“You did what?” Mom said as she walked into the house and saw the empty spaces where the furniture used to be.
“But we made over three hundred dollars!” we said, handing her the wad of bills.
“Do you have any idea what the things you sold were worth?”
Her tone of voice made it hard to tell whether she was laughing or crying.
“More than three hundred dollars?” we asked meekly.
By our calculations, we’ll be allowed to come out of our rooms in just three more years.
This is like those times you made mom a “mayonnaise and mustard sandwich” because you didn’t check to see if there was any turkey in the fridge before you started. The thought was there, the intent was sincere…but the results were not so great. Kids try their best, of course, but sometimes the things they do can absolutely ruin your day. You can’t too mad (mostly because they are just so darn adorable) and in the end, no one was hurt after a weekend alone. Well, except for their wallets. Those were probably hurting pretty badly.
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