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No Charge

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My little boy came into the kitchen this evening while I was fixing supper. And he handed me a piece of paper he'd been writing on. So, after wiping my hands on my apron, I read it, and this is what it said:

For mowing the grass, $5
For making my own bed this week, $1
For going to the store $.50
For playing with baby brother while you went shopping, $.25
For taking out the trash, $1
For getting a good report card, $5
And for raking the yard, $2

Well, I looked at him standing there expectantly, and a thousand memories flashed through my mind. So, I picked up the paper, and turning it over, this is what I wrote:

For the nine months I carried you, growing inside me, No Charge
For the nights I sat up with you, doctored you, prayed for you, No Charge
For the time and the tears, and the cost through the years, No Charge
For the nights filled with dread, and the worries ahead, No Charge
For advice and the knowledge, and the cost of your college, No Charge
For the toys, food and clothes, and for wiping your nose, No Charge
Son, when you add it all up, the full cost of my love is No Charge

Well, when he finished reading, he had great big tears in his eyes. And he looked up at me and he said, "Mama, I sure do love you." Then he took the pen and in great big letters he wrote, PAID IN FULL.

Shirley Ceasar