While checking out at Costco the other day, Liam was standing next to me poking his little hands into crevices that he shouldn't. He has a knack for getting into things even in situations where it appears there's nothing to get into. I was busy counting out cash and separating transactions as to keep organized with our
"What is this, Mommy?"
I'm fumbling as I try to fit all my change into my wallet so we can be on our way.
"MOM-my! What IS this?" he tugs on my jacket.
"Oh, wow! That's not ours. Where did you get that money?"
He points to a crack in the counter.
"There? Well, put it back."
He tries to, but it doesn't slide in easily, and so now he's holding this crumpled bill in his hands. I take it and try shoving it into the crevice myself and manage to get it half way in. But now it's really rumpled and sticking way out of the counter for the world to see, and it all just felt weird.
(Let me try to explain this crack in the counter: At about a 4-year-old's eye level there's this very small table that can swing out... and that's where Liam said this bill came from.)
I definitely couldn't help but notice all the zeroes on this bill, and in a moment of weakness I thought about the Law of Finders Keepers, Losers Weepers.
And then I asked myself what kind of mother I would be to tell Liam we could take that bill out of a random slot of the Costco counter.
So as the cashier begins to take care of the next customer, and we're about to finally be on our way, I backtrack a few steps, get the cashier's attention, point to the money and tell him my son found it.
"Whoa!! It's a million dollar bill!" the cashier announces really loudly, and waves it around for everyone to see. There's lots of smiling and commotion around the counter and I decide to hurry and leave as to not draw attention to us. As we head to the exit doors, I'm deep in thought about how I did the right thing by pointing it out--that I saved Costco a million dollars from being stolen. Not to mention, how awesome I am for teaching Liam that we don't take things that aren't ours, even if it's a lot of money, and even if it seems to fall into our lap.
But by the time I hit the parking lot I'm imagining all the things we could've done with a million dollars and start to regret not taking the money. I must be stupid! Who's to say that was Costco's money? Maybe someone really did just drop it on the ground and it's up for grabs? I immediately called Hubs to tell him about how we almost had that much money and to see what he would've done in that situation. I just couldn't believe I'd even come that close to so much money.
He listens to my whole story, listens to me try to explain about the weird crack in the counter, scolds me a little for not taking the money (just kidding!) and then says, sweet as can be,
"Marie, there's no such thing as a million dollar bill."
But the cashier even said! While I knew Will was probably right, I still googled it when I got home, and found satisfaction in being right about him being right.
So, that's the story of how I was *this close* to becoming a millionaire. All those zeroes were just on a fancy piece of play-money paper. I'm pretty sure I was punk'd. Maybe before long I'll have a video of myself like this floating around youtube. I'll have to work on my reaction next time!