As a little boy, I was obsessed with toys. Every time my parents took me to the store, I would beg them to buy me a new action figure or a shiny race car.
But there was one toy that I wanted more than anything else – a remote-controlled helicopter.
I would dream about flying it high in the sky and doing all sorts of tricks. But there was one problem – my parents couldn’t afford it. Every time I asked for it, they would say the same thing, “We can’t afford it right now, sweetie.”
One day, I was feeling particularly down about not having my dream toy.
I asked my parents again if they could buy it for me, but they gave me the same answer.
That’s when I came up with what I thought was a brilliant idea.
“Why don’t you just go to the machine that gives us money?” I asked innocently.
“What are you talking about?” They asked me.
“The ATM mom! I see dad going there all the time and it just gives him money whenever he wants!”
My parents burst out laughing, and I couldn’t understand what was so funny. “What’s so funny?” I asked, confused.
My parents explained to me that an ATM wasn’t a magical money machine that gave out free money.
They told me that the money that people withdrew from the ATM came from their own bank accounts, and they had to work hard to earn that money.
I was shocked. All this time, I thought that my parents could just go to the ATM and get as much money as they wanted. I felt bad for asking them for expensive toys and not realizing how hard they worked to provide for our family.
My parents saw the look on my face and knew that I was upset. They sat me down and explained to me that while they couldn’t buy me everything I wanted, they loved me very much and would always do their best to provide for me.
I felt a lot better after our talk, and I realized that there were other ways to have fun without expensive toys. My parents and I spent the afternoon playing board games and having a picnic in the park.
From that day on, I appreciated my parents’ hard work even more, and I learned that sometimes the best things in life don’t come in shiny packages.
Plus, I did eventually get my remote-controlled helicopter – as a gift for my birthday, after my parents had saved up for it.
And it was even more special because I knew how much they had sacrificed to make my dream come true.
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