My little Swan Princess has my heart in her hands. I know I've written about her charm in several occasions, but today, my heart melted with love. Today we had wonderful weather; it must have been high 70's, and Gorgeous Boy wanted to set up a little store to get money so we could go to a haunted maze. We had planned on going anyway; I don't know why the kids felt they needed to help pay for the outing, but all the same, they wanted to do something to earn some money. Princess thought they could sell fruit, and yes, we had several peaches and apples, but none she could sell for $5.00 each, so she gave up on the fruit idea. Then Gorgeous decided to go sell golf balls with his friend and next door neighbor. Jeff helped them collect balls from the creek that runs on the back of our house, and the little boys set up a table right by the country club entrance to sell the balls they had collected. They ended up selling only one. Their lone customer: Swan Princess, who payed $.25 for a ball that had already been in her room before her brother decided to add it to his inventory.
Swan Princess still wanted to earn her own money, and after much thinking, she ran to my room where I was nursing Chubbers and trying to have a little nap, and happily announced she had decided to sell bookmarks! Her little delicate hands were clutching a collection of cards, tags, pieces of ribbon, that she had gathered from several hiding places.
I told her that selling bookmarks was a great idea and I actually drifted off for a few minutes. When I got up, I went to the front door, and I saw this:
My daughter's singsong voice kept chanting :
"Bookmarks, for saaaaaaaale.
Over here, 25 cents ........ Bookmarks."
I'm not exactly sure why, but my eyes filled with tears, and in my mind, I was taken back to Rosario, where I've seen kids selling cards, stamps, flowers, not for a fun family outing but to avoid being beaten for not bringing money to abusive parents, or to feed themselves and/or hungry little siblings.
Her fragile silhouette, her shrill little voice, the puppy by her side, made me want to protect her forever, to shield her from this world, to keep her innocent and happy all her life. I know she'll grow, she does everyday; this little girl of mine is so smart and bright! But this image of her is branded in my mind.
"Bookmarks, for sale
Over here, 25 cents..."