Early in November my Sister in Law Wendy sent me (and other people who they love the most) this email:
We're selling chocolate for the PTA so they can make it more fun for our school. How much it is is $1(per bar). There are five different kinds. They are: Milk Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, Caramel, Crisp, and also Almond. Two weeks is how long we are selling them. If you don't want to, you don't have to. My goal is to sell sixty and get an animal hat for a prize. Also my favorite kind is caramel, so you know.
If you are interested in "The World's Finest Chocolate" bars let us know how many you want and we will set them aside for you. We can bring them down to Utah county around Thanksgiving. Love you all!
Lessons learned from this message:
a) I am a sucker for a cute kid
b) Wendy is a marketing genius
c) I have 2 of my own boys who make me biased and I still think that Taege about the cutest kid in the whole freakin' world.
d) Taege will grow up to sell all the things to all the people and all the people will love anything they ever sold him, because DID YOU SEE THAT TOOTHLESS GRIN?
So that's why I bought a bunch of chocolate bars. Besides he's the kind of kid who you hope will meet ALL of his goals and succeed in every way, so you do anything you want to support him. Plus chocolate! Win-win.
Anyway, that month-old email is why I'm eating a subpar "world's finest chocolate" bar with my lunch today. And every bite is delicious, but really it's just chocolate. (Except the carmel ones, which really were the best. Why didn't I just buy a million of those? I knew I'd like them best...but felt obligated to try the others just in case.) Also it's broken into 4 sections and when I stuff a whole section in my mouth I think that about that missionary who told me once that a dove chocolate was 4 bites. (That lady is nuts. but also probably happy with her life choices and able to walk more than 10 steps at a time...so...there's that. Anyway, these sections are definitely more than one bite big, but that won't stop me! I'm an overachiever when it comes to chocolate consumption.)
The boys and I are reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Sometimes it's lost on John who has the attention span of a gnat (but can run up and down ALL the stairs 9 times in a row without getting tired), and sometimes Tommy has too much energy for reading too. But mostly it's magic to watch Tommy get lost in the story and act out what's happening "Charlie held his nose high in the air and sniffed the magical smell of melting chocolate as he walked past the factory" and get totally wrapped up in the story asking for one more chapter as we snuggle in my bed at night. It's been more than a week since we started, and for the last few days in a row, it's been one disappointment after another. (Spoiler alert!) Charlie's birthday chocolate bar didn't have a golden ticket. And he was never ever ever going to get another one because all they could ever have around there was lousy cabbage soup. But then Grandpa Joe wasted his money on another bar, and they didn't get a golden ticket, and clearly that was the last shot. And then 2 more golden tickets were found and there was only one left in the whole wide world anyway. So Tom kinda lost interest. Because Charlie wasn't going in there anyway. So what was the point of reading the rest of the story about 4 old people in bed eating cabbage soup?
Last night I convinced them to snuggle up and read another chapter with me. (but only after an Elephant and Piggie book and Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and the singing Silent Night book) and when Charlie found the 50 pence buried in the snow and used it to buy chocolate and scarfed down a ticketless chocolate bar Tommy didn't even care that there was no golden ticket, in fact I don't think he noticed because he was busy imagining wolfing down a chocolate bar. (It's SO fun to watch him imagine things!) But then Charlie used one more of his leftover two-pence to buy another and saw the golden ticket and Tom gasped and jumped up and down on my bed and all the people in the chocolate shop freaked out and the store keeper was nice, and people offered Charlie money for his ticket, and Tommy's eyes were as big as dinner plates and HE COULD HARDLY BELIEVE IT!!!!!! Charlie got a golden ticket!!!!! (I think he'll ask for some "chapters of Chaw-lee" tonight with no encouragement from me at all.)
Today while I'm opening my subpar "world's finest chocolate bar" I half expect to find a golden ticket. And I'm thinking about what a shame it is that Tom has probably never ever opened a full sized chocolate bar in his whole life. And that's why even though he has a cold and shouldn't be eating sugar, I think today I'll find him a chocolate bar, and let him open it carefully from the top corner and wolf it down Charlie-style just so he knows what it's like to peel back the wrapper from a chocolate bar for real and see the glorious deliciousness inside and maybe care or maybe not care about the golden ticket that isn't inside.