We seem to have started a delightful new routine at our house, although I fear its demise is imminent, about to be quashed by that process called, growing up.
This past week, G2 who is all of seven, with endless energy and eternal curiosity about all things, was sitting out on the patio with me after school.
“Grandma,” he said, “Let’s go on a penny walk.”
Now being in the advanced stages of grammadom I still retain a modicum of curiosity myself and asked him what a penny walk was. Having learned about money this week in school he had some wisdom to share with me.
What had he learned? Well the first response was, “Always wash your hands after you touch money.” Fair enough thought I but what else had he learned? “No one uses pennies anymore.” Ah. Now we are getting to the meat of the matter.
“Since no one uses pennies anymore, I think we should go for a walk and search for pennies that people might have thrown away.”
Do people throw away unused pennies? I doubt it, but any excuse for some G2 fun and exercise, before he reaches the age when hunting anything with Grandma is no longer cool is a worthwhile adventure.
Off we went on our search, and what did we find?
Well we walked the edge of curbs, examined and discussed why pieces of cardboard, small screws, odd shaped stones, broken bits of toys, might all have found their way to the roads and parks. We looked at some cut up trees lying across a yard, jumped to touch branches just out of reach, pronounced a kitten sitting in a front window as adorable, and declared a dead bird adorable if only he was alive, (adorable seems to be one of the words for the week), we did spins across park fields – he was faster and joyfully fell to the ground. I did not. We sat on swings, for such a long time, closing our eyes and describing adventures flying high above the earth, the color of the sun through our lids, being a bird soaring over mountains, and flying to the moon as we pumped higher and higher in tandem. (I was so informed that swinging in tandem is called double dating.) He ascended and descended climbing walls with ease, and slid the slides.
He is now flirting with the idea of more independence. “Grandma I am going to walk all the way home by myself. Can I walk by myself? You stay just back here behind me and I will walk home by myself.”
Every hundred feet or so he would stop, look back, then wave to me, making sure I was not too far behind. As he was running up the street one of our friends came out and called his name. He stopped and she gave him and hug and laughed when she saw me bringing up the rear, as it were.
“I saw him running up the street by himself,” she said. “I wanted to make sure he was alright but I was pretty sure you weren’t too far behind.”
We found no pennies. We found lots of treasure though. I saw the joy of life through a child’s eyes and remembered briefly those long ago days. No, I lived the joy of life same as those long ago days.
We went Penny Walking last night again and I can only hope we will again this week.