My daughter Ariel is away at college in New York, so I’d like to share what I have found to be unusual in a lovely way. When Ariel was like six or seven, her mom Joyce was, and still is, an avid and committed aerobics work out fanatic and all about health and like organic everything. Anyway, each night after a day of eating taste-free cardboard-like “food,” I would trek to the refrigerator for a nightly bowl of rich, sugar-loaded sweet-tasting ice cream on my shelf in the freezer, and I would whisper to Ariel… “Ariel, sweetie, want daddy to fix you an ice cream snack?” And Ariel, the ever-programmed, lovable little tyke, would respond, “Oh daddy, you know it’s not my snack day.” Ariel, you see, was only allowed one day a week for snacks. Ariel was faithful and obedient, and no matter how I tried (and I tried often ) wanting to slip her a Snickers, a Milky Way or a Kit Kat bar, our cat and mouse game continued for years as I thought I could tempt her to break rank even once; no dice, that little Ariel was tough as nails.
I told this story to friends for years until one day several months ago Ariel heard my spiel and laughed and said, “Daddy, that’s not even the worst part.” Worst part, what worst part? “Daddy, in school, kids’ moms would bring birthday cake and cookies when one of their kids would have a birthday for the entire class, and I had to wrap my piece and save it for my snack day… Ever eat stale, four-day-old birthday cake?”
Now I’m sitting in my office at Good News many months ago as Ariel is gathering and sorting her clothes and school stuff for New York; a one-month project. I get a call on my cell phone.
Faithful little girl
“DADDY, guess what?”
“Daddy, I just opened my piggy bank and counted. Guess how much money was in it?”
Not even remembering she still had a piggy bank, I said, “What? $25 dollars?”
“Oh Daddy, really, guess, guess how much??”
I said, “$35?”
“DADDY, I HAVE $286.70 !!!!”
No way, I thought. I only gave her $5 a week, and I’m pretty sure she spent it all each week. I said, “Ariel, how could you possibly have THAT much?”
And she said, “Daddy, remember when you would give me money for my piggy bank when I was like four years old?”
“Well, remember when I always asked if we could open it and count the money?”
No I didn’t, really, but I asked Ariel, “You remember THAT and you were four years old???”
“Daddy, YOU said I couldn’t open this piggy bank until I’m 18. DADDY, I’M 18 now and I opened it ! $286.70.”
Faithful and obedient, my little girl.
“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it” (1 Corinthians 10:13 NIV).