With Homecomings in the air, I was encouraged by a couple of MOAT kids’ approach to the high school festivity. One of them not only asked a young lady in his grade, but also paid for the entire evening out of his own stash.

“How did he get the money?” I asked one of the moms.

“From their Lacrosse camp this summer.”

Being a bit memory-challenged, I couldn’t believe I had forgotten about the camp they held… especially since I blogged about their summer job not too long ago: (Job Fair – as in “That’s Not”). These boys organized and hosted a lacrosse camp for area kids. It’s not college recruitment level instruction, but it’s just what the neighborhood ordered. The boys put together their own web site, filmed and posted short instruction videos on the basics of the game and taught first and second graders how to play the game. The camps moved young players to new levels of expertise and sky-rocketed the camp organizers to unexpected levels of confidence. (They bask in rock-star status whenever one of their little campers spots them from a distance.) Not only that, both boys have continued through the year helping a few of the kids after school once or twice a week. At ten dollars and hour, these boys are cashing in on their entrepreneur spirit and reaping the rewards of working hard.

How did it go for the kid who had to pay for his Homecoming soiree? Well, you can rest assured he was one of only a handful of kids paying his way. I’ve asked his mom to share the details of this confidence-infusing experience with us, but until then. Here are a few highlights:

  • Rather than go to posh Nick & Sam’s Steak house, the boys decided to dial it down on cost (but not on flavor) at Nick & Sam’s Grill where the highest price entree is $18 … and I don’t know many girls that will choke down the menu-topping Flat Iron Steak in front of their cute date.
  • No bus rental with this group (thanks to some frugal parental advice). They let the parents drive.
  • Pricey after-party? No, they headed back to one of the Lacrosse boy’s homes to play a round of Minute to Win-It on the back yard patio.

The group had a blast! The paying kid learned a lot about chivalry, sacrifice and the value of money. People think twice when they’re spending their own cash.

Somehow I think we need to involve our kids on the electric bill around here. They’re killing me the way they leave on their lights, completely unaware of the costs associated with electrical usage. Reminiscent of my Dad, I offer many a lecture on turning out the lights when they leave a room.

“All you have to do is flip the switch … It’s so simple. Just look before you leave the room.”

“Why?! I’m only going to go back in.”

Hmmm… sounds familiar. “Why should I close the drawer, I’m only going to open it later.” “Why do I need to make my bed, I’m getting in it tonight.”, “I left those on the floor so I can put them on when I get home from school.” … right!

And the inconsistencies. It’s okay to leave a light on because “they’re coming back”. But that non-green response just doesn’t jive with the forgetting to flush the toilet as a water conservation strategy.

Still … one foot in front of the other. Just keep pressing forward.

“Hey,” I yell back at one of the kids as we’re leaving the house, “Make sure the light is off in the kitchen.”

I hear an, “OKAY…” followed by a steely grinding noise.

“WHOA…. What’s that?!” the kid yells.

Having walked that road, I knew the familiar sound of a fork or spoon meeting grinder blades. “Honey, that’s the garbage disposal. The lights are the third switch.”

“Wow … that’s cool. Would your fingers get mauled if you put your hand in there?” – clearly the kid was one of the boys. “What do you use that thing for?”

“Are you serious?!” I ask, knowing full well the kid has washed dishes multiple times. “You grind any leftover remnants so everything can go down the drain.”


What?! Where was he in our dish washing 101 lesson?!! How could this be his introduction to flipping the disposal switch?!

… One foot in front of the other….

Thanks for walking it with me.


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