I Had $500 in That Bag.

Shane gets an allowance, gets paid for an occasional job, and sometimes gets money as a gift. Like most kids, he keeps his money in something akin to a piggy bank.

Shane knows exactly how much he has –  because he enjoys counting it far more than he enjoys spending it.

One day, I decided (with his permission) to take a pile of money to the bank, to put it into his (already established) savings account. He said he had $500 to put into the bank.

When I got to the bank, though, there was an odd amount: $302. I put it into the bank, somewhat befuddled about Shane’s counting, and went home. Later that day, I asked Shane about it.

“I had $500 in that bag,” he told me.

“I thought you did,” I said. “But I gave the bank all the money that was in there. I counted it twice. And it was only $302.”

The money had been hanging haphazardly in a bag on his doorknob for a month. Before that, the bag was tossed about on the floor. So now $200 is missing. Gone. Kaput.

When you make $3 a week in allowance, and you don’t have a job, it takes a long time to earn $200.

But Shane lives in a slovenly fashion. Walking across the floor of his room is like navigating a mine field. I never know what I might break. When he cleans – and he does, occasionally, clean – he puts his books in piles. He puts his CDs in piles. He pushes his toys under the dresser. He has pieces of various magic tricks mixed in with toys, toiletries and writing utensils.

I’ve tried to help him with organization. I’ve helped him get organized with new shelves, bookcases, baskets, drawers and cubbies.

Nothing works.

About an hour after he realized the money was lost Shane said, “I think I’m over the losing of the money. I guess if God wanted me to lose that money, there must have been a reason for it.”

He may be slovenly, but he is wise beyond his years.

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