I love a good bargain.
I shop for next year's winter coats at the end of the season. I buy next year's bathing suits at the end of the summer. And after Halloween, I like to see what deals I can get on costumes. (When you have nine kids, you don't ask what everyone wants to be for Halloween. Instead, you spread out all the costumes in the dress up box and say, "Pick one!")
I was proud of the chicken suit I had bought from Kohl's for around $9 on clearance. The fabric was not only durable but came complete with separate pull-on chicken legs and a hood! Whichever kid could fit into it always had a lot of fun with it. Cory took it a step further.
"Mom, can I wear my chicken suit to school one day?" he greeted me one morning when he was around 7 years old.
"Well, you'll have to ask your teacher," I said, certain she would say no because it would disrupt the class.
He burst through the door later that day. "She said I could WEAR it!" I had no choice but to keep my word, but I didn't think he would go through with it.
Next morning, he came down for breakfast in his chicken suit. To catch the bus.
"WHY is Cory wearing a chicken suit to SCHOOL?" his siblings asked.
"He feels like it," I said, as if they had asked why the grass was green.
"I am so glad I am not riding the bus today," said my then high schooler, Matthew.
Breakfast was over; it was time to catch the bus. Out marched three kids and one chicken to stand at the end of the driveway on our somewhat busy street. But Cory didn't just stand there. He waved at the passing cars, he flapped his wings, he did the chicken dance.
"I am so glad I am not riding the bus today," repeated Matthew.
I doubled over with laughter as I watched the puzzled drivers pass by. My sides ached and tears streamed down my face as the bus pulled up and I saw the reaction of all on board. I was still laughing as the bus pulled away.
"How did it go?" I asked Cory when he got home, still in his chicken suit.
"Great!" he said. "The other kids chased me around the playground at recess yelling, 'We want chicken!' "
"I think it is great that you wore a chicken suit to school just because you felt like it, Cory. Your class mates will always remember the day you came to school in a chicken suit."
He said thanks and went on his way. And somehow I thought I got a lot more for my $9 than just a chicken suit. I also got a memory I will never forget.
Cory finds another way to be
The highlight of my day
I'm taking pictures in my mind
So I can save them for a rainy day
--from "Stay Beautiful" by Taylor Swift