Saturday, November 23, 2013

Called out on capitalism by a not-quite seven year old...

I hate to brag. But I'm going to anyways. You've been warned. My Boy-o, he sometimes blows my  mind with his ability to comprehend and question very complex social structures and situations. I guess it isn't really bragging.  He isn't an extension of me, and he's not cool because of me either.  He just came out that way.  I looked into his eyes on the day he was born and swore he looked older and wiser to me.  And I still think this might well be the case. Anyhoo...there is a story coming, I swear.

So, the kids and I have this little tradition of walking or biking to Timmy Ho's early Saturday mornings for breakfast-y goodness.  We go there because the small-fry like it, and because the three of us can have breakfast there for under $20, which we pretty much can't anywhere else on the planet.  (It's most certainly *not* because I love their coffee, which is god-awful, and what I consider to be "taking one for the team").  Anyhoo again (always digressing with the damn brackets, me...)

We are sitting with our doughnuts and breakfast sandwiches (doughnuts first, of course) and chit-chatting when we realize that the line-up has just gone berserk and is practically looped around the store out the door into the chilly early-morningness.  Boy-o says: "WOW! The people who work at Tim Horton's must be REALLY RICH!"

I laugh and explain that in fact, the people that work at Timmy's are not, in fact, rich.  I explain that in fact, like most front-line workers, the people who work at Timmy's are likely paid very poorly, while the people that OWN Timmy's make a great deal of money.  We chat about minimum wage in Alberta, and how it's really quite tough to get by on that kind of wage, even working full time (Yes - I do talk like this to my kids.  I get a lotta flak for it too.  But I figure that, within reason, they ought to know how the world around them works).  He seems to be taking this all in, pausing and nodding and reflecting.

And then, after sitting quietly for a moment, my not-quite-seven year old son says this:

"Soooooooo.... the people that work at Tim's don't make very much money.  Andddddd the people that own Timmy's make lots of money?"

I nod.

"Well Mama - then WHY do we eat here??"

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