Each night Lily goes through her piggy bank and Christmas/birthday money envelope and adds more change or small bills to her Ziploc bag. It goes into her backpack heavy with pennies, quarters, and nickels. I imagine that bag must feel like 10 pounds of gold in her small hands. She is almost giddy as she decides which treasure she will purchase at the school book fair. I listen as my tall, skinny middle child tells me that she is buying a princess cat poster for her younger sister and a book about the latest Barbie movie… “Mom, Bailey will LOVE it!!” I can’t argue.
Then she turns, and as I try to remember what she looked like before the braces with green bands she carefully selected to prevent any pinching on St. Patrick’s Day, Lily says, “Do you think it’s okay if I buy something for my friend? He doesn’t have any money.” I have to take a second so she won’t see that my eyes are filling with tears. The Ziploc bag that may not survive much longer in the depths of an 8 year old hoarder’s backpack now has a $5 bill. In terms of money, that amount won’t make a huge difference. But I hope the book, poster, or pencil sharpener that is purchased with that wrinkled bill will feel like a warm hug from a sweet little girl.