A Morality Tale I Tell My Daughter In Which I Compare Myself to a Young Abraham Lincoln, and Try to Make Some Money By Not Getting Caught Nose-picking.

Once upon a time, I was a little boy. Although you may think that I did everything exactly right when I was younger - 

- You didn't.

You don't need to agree so strongly. But you know what? You are correct. And you know who else didn't do everything right when he was a young boy?

- Who?

Abraham Lincoln. There's a lot of things that Abraham Lincoln and I have in common. For example both of us made mistakes when we were young boys. We all have our struggles. Just like Abraham Lincoln struggled with honesty when he was a young lad - and later on, of course, he became known as 'Honest Abe, because he was so honest. Well, who knows: maybe it was a challenge for him to learn how to be honest when he was younger. I don't know, and nobody really does, because there's no photographs proving his honesty as a young boy. So my query is: do you think he was always honest? Or do you think he had to work on it when he was younger? 

- I think he had to work on it when he was younger.

Yeah, I agree. We all have things we need to work on. For example, maybe Abraham Lincoln needed to work on his honesty. Well, I had something that I had to work on too, and that was picking my nose. I liked to pick my nose a lot when I was younger. Do you think that Moms usually think that nose-picking is really cool, or really gross?

- Really gross.

Unfortunately, you are correct. That is what my Mom thought too. So she said: Joey, this is what we're going to do: If you go a whole day without picking your nose, and I don't see you pick your nose, then I will pay you… - it was either a quarter or a dollar. It was a significant enough amount that I was determined to make sure my Mom did not see me pick my nose. 

It's an awful thing, because when you're seven years old you're not allowed to drive, so I couldn't just hop in an automobile and drive away to make sure my Mom didn't SEE me pick my nose. Which meant that I had to hang out with her all day. Do you know how hard Moms are to get away from when you live in the same house, and you're trying to find some privacy to do things like pick your nose while you're reading a book, or making lunch, or practicing piano, or things like that? It's really hard to pick your nose in private when you're doing those things and your Mom is around. 

So it was really challenging, but I kept working on it, and hiding from her. Maybe how 'Dishonest Abe,' as I like to think he was called when he was younger, needed to practice being truthful…what is something you're working on right now, Magdelana?

- Umm…going to sleep.

Okay, cool. So you're trying to practice sleeping more, or sleeping less?

- Just going to sleep. 

Is that hard to do?

- Yeah. 

Good for you! You're practicing, like me and Abraham! Excellent.


So anyway, I was practicing not getting caught, and I was trying so hard, but I kept having to interrupt what I was doing, and this was really my Mom's fault for trying to change who I was. But, I did go the whole day without my Mom seeing me pick my nose, and in the end I got paid. And I think what that goes to show, is that sometimes you have to work hard to find yourself some privacy. And that's also something me and Abraham Lincoln have in common: perseverance. Thank goodness for walls. And also, be sure to clarify exactly what the expectations are. And try to save your nose-picking for private times, like when you're driving your automobile and people can't see you.

- What do you mean…'walls?'

Walls to to hide behind when my Mom was trying to catch me picking my nose. 

- That was a very short story.

I know. Go to sleep.

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