by Ken Davis heard on his radio program, “Lighten Up”
Ken’s story is about a dad who was worn out from trying to keep a roof over his family and food on the table. This dad could hardly drag himself in the door at the end of the day, let alone interact with his small son. One evening his son stood by the door waiting and watching as the father came home from work. “Daddy, how much money do you get paid for an hour of work?”
That was a sore spot. His father walked over to the recliner. “Twenty dollars an hour,” he said. “And it’s not enough, in case you’re wondering. That’s why I have to work so much overtime. Are you making a point here, son?”
“No, Daddy.” The boy wrote the number down on a piece of paper and stood next to his father.
“Is there something else you want?” The dad felt tired and just wanted to turn on the television and forget the day.
The boy looked at his paper. “Can you loan me ten dollars?”
His father had had enough, “Go to your room and shut the door. I’ve had more than enough of your foolishness. I just told you how tight money is.” He clenched his jaw as the little boy went silently to his room. “As if I’ve got money to throw around,” he said to himself.
He sat there for a long time without turning the television on. He began to feel bad for lighting into his son. When he couldn’t stand it any longer, he went to the child’s room. His son lay facedown on the bed. “I’m sorry for getting mad, son. I’m tired. But if you need ten dollars for a toy or something, here it is.” He held out a ten-dollar bill.
The little boy sat up and wiped his face. “It’s not for a toy, Daddy.” He reached under his pillow and pulled out a wad of crumpled bills and smoothed them out and added them to the ten-dollar bill. “I’ve been saving my dollars and now I have twenty of them.” He smiled at his father as he held out the stack of money. “Can I buy an hour of time with you?”
A question for parents who still have children at home: What wisdom does this story have for you?