Tuesday, July 6, 2010
A Dollar And A Dream.
You know that face that you see on Christmas Eve, the look of wondrous excitement and anticipation?
Well I saw it again this past week quite unexpectedly.
On the face of the seven year old.
We have been in swim camp for a week. I say 'we' because the two year old and I have been shamelessly taking full advantage of the pool and facilities while the seven year old earnestly freestyles past.
I love to swim. Something I find quite surprising.
Swimming as a kid in Scotland involved dipping a toe in the frigid north sea on a 'summer' day
or in a highly chlorinated indoor pool.
The baths (as we called them) were usually in victorian buildings, with changing rooms around the walls and equally frigid waters.
We had to wear a swim cap and walk through a foot bath of some awful chemical concoction before we could enjoy the joys of swimming in cold bleach.
After swimming class (for my lucky children in a beautiful outdoor pool with saline water) the seven year old was introduced to the vending machine by her classmates.
She came to me wide eyed asking if she too could have a dollar for the machine.
She returned with a bag of corn nuts and a huge grin.
As an aside, corn nuts have to be one of the nastiest things I've tasted in a while.
Still, the seven year old was delighted.
It became a daily ritual.
She disappeared with a dollar and came back with some new bag of additives.
On the last day we had a private lesson. She shyly asked if she could still go to the vending machine.
I dutifully gave her a dollar.
The two year old and I got busy with sun block.
It was at least five minutes before I realized that the seven year old hadn't returned.
We head off to investigate.
I wish I'd brought my camera.
There standing in front of the vending machine was the seven year with that look on her face.
"What's up sweetie?"
"When will it ever drop down?" she whined.
I realized that she had been having assistance from her classmates all week and had no idea how to select her snack and make it drop.
She had simply put her money in and was standing there willing it with all her might to slide into the collection tray.
It was the sweetest moment of innocence and hopeful anticipation.
I wonder how long she would have stood there?