My mother works as a waitress in the Blue Tile Diner.
After school sometimes I go to meet her there.
Then her boss Josephine gives me a job too.
When I finish, Josephine says, "Good work, honey, " and pays me.
And every time, I put half of my money into the jar.
I takes a long time to fill a jar this big.
Every day when my mother comes home from work,
I take down the jar.
Then we push all of the coins into the jar.
Sometimes my mama is laughing when she comes home from work.
Sometimes she's so tired she falls asleep
while I count the money out into piles.
Some days she has lots of tips. Some days she has only a little.
Then she looks worried.
But each evening every single shiny coin goes into the jar.
We sit in the kitchen to count the tips.
Usually Grandma sits with us too.
While we count, she likes to hum.
Whenever she gets a good bargain on tomatoes or bananas or something she buys, she puts by the savings and they go into the jar.
When we can't get a single other coin into the jar,
we are going to take out all the money and go and buy a chair.
Yes, a chair. A wonderful, beautiful, fat, soft armchair.
We will get one covered in velvet with roses all over it.
We are going to get the best chair in the whole world.
That is because our old chairs burned up.
There was a big fire in our other house. All our chairs burned.
So did our sofa and so did everything else.
That wasn't such a long time ago.