this life lesson brought to you for the bargain price of $6.61.

“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.
Luke 16:10 (NIV)

FavoriteSon wants to buy a song, but it’s designated as “album only” meaning he can’t purchase the single, he would have to purchase the entire album to get one song. This fact makes him . . . unhappy. After the onslaught of “It’s not fair!” and “This is stupid.” he asked me if I would let him rip it from youtube. For free.

Me: “That would be illegal.”

FavoriteSon: “But I can’t buy it! You said we can get it from youtube when we can’t buy it!”

Me: “Yes, but in this case, you CAN buy it. You just can’t buy it under the circumstances that you prefer.”

FavoriteSon: “Do you know how many of my friends get music from youtube?”

Me, silent, with the face he knows so well. The one raised eyebrow, sustained eye contact face that says, you’re gonna get NOWHERE with this argument, cause we’ve long ago established that when presented with the “but my friends do it” argument, I. am. unmoved.

FavoriteSon: “Yeabut …” (let the whining and attempt to persuade begin)

I was getting ready to go into the sauna, so I tabled the conversation till I got out. Then I plucked a book off the shelf to take in with me: The Busy Mom’s Guide to Simple Living : Creative Ideas And Practical Ways for Making the Most Out of What You Have

I’m in frugality mode these days so I turn right to the chapter entitled: “Saving Money.” A few pages in and I find a reference to Luke 16:

“The words of Jesus at the end of this story are a powerful reminder of our responsibility with money. ‘”Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.'”

I get out of the sauna and before I hit the shower, I hand the book to FavoriteSon, pointing to this paragraph.

Me: “Read this while I’m in the shower and we’ll continue our conversation in a few minutes.”

He was ready for me when I get out.

FavortiteSon: “What if . . . I buy a song I DON’T WANT from the same band and then delete it. THEN can I get the song I really want from youtube?”

His father took this one: “Let’s say your sister wanted a particular Pokemon card and let’s say you knew beyond a shadow of a doubt it was in a larger package of cards that cost $10. There was a two pack of cards for 99 cents. What would you say if she asked to buy the two pack, but trade out to get the one card she really wanted . . . ”

FavoriteSon: “That’s totally different!”

Me: “Why?”

FavoriteSon: silence.

Me: “Because it’s stealing?”

FavoriteSon: “That would be stealing, but this is different.”

Me: “Because it’s not a tangible item?”

FavoriteSon, not convincingly: “no”

Me: “Let me ask you this. How much is one song from this album?

FavoriteSon: “$1.39”

Me: “And how much is the entire album?”

FavoriteSon: “$8.00”

Me: “So all this is about $6.61?”

FavoriteSon: (silence)

Me: “seriously? $6.61. (pause) He who can be trusted with little . . . ”

FavoriteSon: (the grin that comes with knowing his reasoning has a big ol gaping hole in it.)

this parenting thing, I’m tellin ya.

“The trite saying that honesty is the best policy has met with
the just criticism that honesty is not policy. The real honest man is
honest from conviction of what is right, not from policy.”
Robert E. Lee

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