Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Counting The Years

She shakes a flowered sock full of coins in my face and tells how she's saved her money for a poop-scoop for her bunny. We've been using the one from the cat's litter but she wants her own, and because we're already out for a doctor's appointment, I agree to getting one today.
I pull up to the door of the dollar store and she and her big sister jump out and listen wide-eyed to my instructions, how I'll be parked right here at the window watching them. It's several minutes before I catch them emerging from the aisle to the cash counter and I sit a little higher to view their purchasing. Customers quickly gather and form a line behind them as my big girl counts out the handful of small coins that should make $1.13. It's not that this part is difficult, just independent. She counts it out and I count the years that have flown.
Memories flood and I'm back in "So-Low-Sales" with my sisters, buying penny candy and counting out our own precious money, sneaked into our dress pockets by Grampie. We'd dash around the corner from his house holding hands and drool over all of the colourful options. I always picked Bazooka gum with the tiny comic tucked inside that I never quite found funny. My sisters picked Black Babies, and I felt scared and grown-up all at once as we stepped toward the "lady". I always silently prayed I had added correctly. Ashamed, many times I hadn't.

My eyes focus on my girls again as the eldest places each bit of change down while the smaller one peers on, just a head above the counter. Suddenly, coins spill all over and my heart pumps harder and the mother in me wants to run in and rescue, but I laugh in spite of myself. Still, tears rise as my own little girl embarrassment is close enough to feel again. They gather the fallen money and complete the transaction without wincing and I know in my heart that my girls are braver than I ever was. Seconds later they're in the van and showing off the new purchase. My little boy begs for the receipt, because that's what they love to have--he beats his sister to it this time. I tell my girls I'm proud of them and that I witnessed every minute of their bravery.
(We don't live close enough to corner stores to have had this experience any earlier but I'm thankful the growing up is taking it's time.)

(photo: just the age I feel that they are when I watch them attempt new endeavours :)


Wanting What I Have said...

SO precious! I remember those days well! My grandmother would give me and my sister change to make a special purchase on Friday afternoons at the drugstore. She'd wait in her big ol' white grandma car while we took our sweet time trying to decide what to get. So fun!

Anna said...

oh, time just stand still.
You must be so proud of your "grown-up" children! They are very special!

Camille said...

Oh how quickly they grow!! How sweet that you *enter in* to their new experiences...joys and sorrows. I *love* that *old* photo...too precious!!!!


Katie said...

I had the same experience with Olivia today. Shopping at the grocery store, she had her little cart and put the few items we needed in it and proudly wheeled it around the store. Then at the self check out lane she scanned everything and put it into a bag then announced "I be right back, I put my cart back ok?" They sure don't stay small long but each new adventure I try to remember to savour and cherish.

Mouse and Magoo said...

I "squeal" when my answer is a 'yes' when I ask if I can perchase the itsybitsy stuff I buy ON MY OWN. It's fun and good practice.

Good suppertime!