Eight-year-old Evan was standing on the sidewalk when he noticed Mrs. Carter opening her store. He smiled, happy to see that it wasn’t closed for good.
Two days ago, as he walked past the store, he saw a closing sign on the store door and a post-it note that Mrs. Carter was sick. When the store remained closed for an entire week, Evan was afraid he would never be able to get his “dream job.”
Mrs. Carter, a beautiful 85-year-old woman, sold flowers for a living. They met the day she helped him cross the street.
As Evan stood on the sidewalk, smiling, Mrs. Carter turned and saw him looking in the direction of her store. She waved, and he ran toward her.
“Hello. I feel like I’ve seen you around here before!” she gave him a smile. “Aren’t you… what’s your name?” she asked, trying to remember.
Evan smiled. “Hi, my name is Evan. I remember you, Mrs. Carter. You helped me cross the street one day. I thank you for that!”
“Oh, that’s right! Now I remember! So, what can I do for you today, young man? Do you need flowers?”
Evan smiled. “I’m looking for a job! Can you hire me?”.
“A job?” the old florist laughed. “Don’t you think you’re a little young for that, son?”
“Surely not!” replied Evan proudly. “I’m 8 years old, and I know how to do a lot of things! I know how to take out the trash, make sandwiches for lunch, and I sometimes help my mom get the grocery bags out of the car! She taught me everything!”.
“Oh, is that right?” Mrs. Carter laughed at the boy’s naiveté. “Suppose I hire you, Evan,” she said. “How much money do I have to pay you?”.
“You don’t have to pay me!”
Evan shook his head. “All I want is a big bouquet for my mom! Her birthday is in a week. But I don’t want to take the flowers for free. Mom says we have to work hard to get what we want. I want to work hard for this bouquet. Can you please hire me?”.
Mrs. Carter was impressed. She nodded and smiled. “So, does my little employee know how to tie ribbons around flowers? If so, let’s get to work. We have to make a LOT of bouquets today!”.
“Really? Hooray! Thank you, Mrs. Carter!!!
After being hired, Evan was very happy. For a whole week, he came to Mrs. Carter’s store in the evenings to help her, and Evan’s presence kept Mrs. Carter from getting bored while working.
Some customers found Evan adorable and fun, so they bought more flowers, and Mrs. Carter’s business flourished.
They had become close through working together, and Evan had become like a grandson to her. She prepared a huge bouquet for his mother.
“Would you like to come visit me sometime, Evan?” she asked, covering the flowers with cellophane. “I’d love to have you here at the store.”
“I will, Mrs. Carter! I’ll tell Mom about you today! She’ll be thrilled!”, And he smiled.
After collecting the bouquet he had earned through his hard work, Evan greeted Mrs. Carter and rushed home to surprise his mother.
“Happy birthday, Mom!” he cried as he ran to her. “You don’t have to be sad that Dad left us! I’m here, Mom, and I will always make you happy!”.
Her mother, Stacey, was shocked. The bouquet was huge and looked expensive. Instead of being happy about it, she wondered where Evan had found it. “Evan? Where did you get the money for that?” she asked, concerned.
With a big smile on his face, Evan told her the whole story.
“I worked really hard and earned it, Mom! I heard you tell Aunt Linda on the phone that you were sad after Dad left. I felt bad, Mom, when you said you weren’t going to the movies and buying yourself things because you wanted to save money for me! I wanted to do something special for you, Mom! I love you! Don’t ever, ever be sad!!!”
Upon hearing her 8-year-old say such things, Stacey couldn’t hold back the tears and hugged him. “Thank you for taking care of me, honey. I love you so much!”
Evan smiled and was about to give her the bouquet when he suddenly noticed something. “Oh wait, mom! There’s something inside…”
Evan pulled out an envelope and found several one dollar bills… for a total of $1100!
“But I told Mrs. Carter not to pay me, Mom! I think this was placed here by mistake!” cried Evan.
“Oh, really? Then we should return it….”
Stacey and Evan went to Mrs. Carter’s store that day and returned the envelope to her, saying they found it in the bouquet.
The old lady smiled and said, “I didn’t leave it by mistake, dear. It’s a gift from me for your birthday. Please keep it. You and your son will need that money some day. I am an old woman, but I can take care of myself. I have enough by the grace of the Lord, and when you have enough, you should share it with others.”
Stacey felt bad that Mrs. Carter had given her so much money. She wanted to repay her in some way, so she invited Mrs. Carter to her home for dinner that night, and they celebrated Stacey’s birthday together.
Soon, Stacey began helping the old lady in her store on the weekends, and the one who was most excited to visit Mrs. Carter’s store was little Evan.
“You’ve raised a lovely son, honey,” Mrs. Carter once complimented Stacey, “I thought most kids these days were only concerned with themselves, but your little boy has a big heart and it’s clear he adores you.”
“You know what,” she continued, “when I hired him, he told me one day that when he grows up he’s going to make a lot of money for you and take care of you, and that touched my heart,” she said, bringing Stacey to tears.