It’s August 15, 2009. I’d like to share with you a short story from Bits & Pieces’ August 2009 issue by Rick Beyer.
“When Rick Beyer was eight years old, he accompanied his mother and grandmother on a shopping trip. Afterward, they stopped by a fancy hotel for lunch. Beyer ordered Salisbury steak which was served with a side of peas.
Beyer didn’t like peas. And he never ate them whenever or wherever they were served. His grandmother noticed that he was avoiding them and said “Eat your peas.”
To which his mother responded, “Oh, leave him alone. He doesn’t like peas.”
But his grandmother wouldn’t let it go and offered her grandson a deal, “I’ll give you five dollars if you eat all of your peas.”
Now this thoroughly outraged Beyer’s mother. She never forced her son to eat things he did not like-and she probably didn’t appreciate her mother’s interference. But to a young boy-oblivious to the nuances of parenthood and usurped authority-the promise of five dollars outweighed an aversion for certain vegetables. Beyer accepted the bribe. He choked down the peas as his grandmother glared at him, and his mother glared at both of them.
Weeks later, Beyer’s grandmother left to visit with other family members and, more likely, muscle in on uncharted parental territory there. That night, Beyer’s mom fixed one of his favorite meals-meat loaf and mashed potatoes. She also served a huge, steaming bowl of peas. She spooned a generous portion of peas onto his plate and said” You ate them for money. You can eat them for love.”
There was nothing he could say to defend his dislike for peas. That five-dollar deal completely lacked any of the brilliance it had on the day it was made. The fact that the money was long gone only made matters worse.
And so the moral of this story is: Don’t do for money what you won’t do for love. But there’s another equally important lesson to be learned here and that is: Mom always wins.
Now that Beyer is grown he swears he still hates peas, but doesn’t dare say anything to his mother when she serves them.”