Monday, March 22, 2010

One Man's Junk, Another First Grader's Treasure


First graders at Hazel's school get to have a store where they bring goods to sell and $.50 to spend at other first graders' desks.  They have kept this tradition alive at least since I was in first grade.  The day is magical.  I still remember my store day.  I remember rummaging around my house and coming up with ideas with my mom about what to sell.  I'm sure I sold multiple items, but what I remember most clearly is selling those red and yellow wire caps that go over exposed electrical wire (I'm an electrician's daughter) as "rockets".  I also sold coloring book pages that were torn out.  I can't tell you they were big hits, but I certainly had the corner on the market.  I can't remember what I bought, but I remember feeling so excited to be able to buy whatever I wanted.  The world was mine!  

Hazel's store day was Friday.  When I dropped her off, the students were all sitting at their desks, arranged in a semi-circle to allow potential buyers plenty of space.  I helped Hazel to her desk and we organized her goods: Valentine suckers, kazoos, chinese yo-yos, and jewels.  My mom had donated the sparkly beads from a broken bracelet, and I took apart one of mine, and we collected a bunch of jewels.  While I was there, I looked at the other kids' inventory--candy, shells, rocks, jewelry, random things from around the house (although I didn't see any electrical wire rockets!).  I loved imagining each mom or dad coming up with something their child could sell.

When Hazel got home, I asked her about things went.  She told me the pink sparkly jewels were most popular and then the kazoos.  No one really gave a hang about the Valentine suckers (which I thought would go fast).  She said she first charged $.05 for the kazoos, but then she couldn't fit any more money in her hand, so she changed it to $.01 (we're not real business types in this family).  

Then she showed me her treasures: A pink and silver (funny looking) bracelet, a painted rock (mom we can use this for a spring decoration!) and some treats.  She had plenty of money left over.   She even bought an unwanted Laffy Taffy from some little girl because the girl really really wanted her to (my genes coming through again).  

Jed put the painted rock next to my other spring decorations and Hazel was visibly pleased.  As I watched her light up at the placing of her treasured object on display, I longed for those days again.  I wished for the simplicity that allows little things to bring such excitement and joy.  Those days slip by so fast, and soon we want much more and pay so much more for those wants.  Don't you wish all you wanted was a few treats, a shell, a bracelet and a painted rock?  And all you needed was $.50 to buy it?  

Me too.  So who's going to make my mortgage payment for me?

 

11 comments:

Kelly said...

Sweet post.

Anita Cramer Wells said...

love it. nathaniel's paper airplanes sold pretty well last year. this year he has a wand emporium going, with lots of decorated chopsticks. anyone for a chopstick painted with glow in the dark nail polish?

Kim said...

What awesome memories! I could really use a sping themed painted rock too.

Carin said...

As much as I too long for those simpler days, there are moments of clarity when I look the little faces around me and accept my lot as an adult in exchange for those kids, the sweetest of all my treasures.
(Hazel is priceless.)

Christi said...

Awww...Hazel has a good heart :) Bless her for buying the gosh awful Laffy Taffy.

Zach and Codi said...

That was my favorite day in first grade too!! (Is there really any school better than Wasatch? The answer is no.) I still remember that I bought this really pretty, soft white "cloth" from some boy and was so excited about it, until I got home and my brother told me it was a rabbit pelt. I felt so horrible, and I swear my pet rabbit gave me the stink eye for a month. I should've purchased one of your coloring pages and saved myself the tortuous guilt. I'm pretty sure I sold erasers, barrettes, and bracelets (yeah, big hit with the boys).

ali said...

could your house and surroundings be any more dreamy? I will pay your mortgage to be a part of wasatch/tree street dream.

ps. my mom and "all of her friends" LOVED your house tour.

emily k. smith said...

Yes. Yes I do wish $.50 would take care of all my wants and deepest desires. I also wish that children came potty trained, sleeping through the night and that pregnancy left my body better looking than it found it. But... what are you gonna do?

jed said...

wow. wishing carin said more, more often.

Teachinfourth said...

I've got some GREAT invisible stuff, if you're interested...

nhsphoto said...

the painted rock totally reminds me of when my neighbor and i colored the remaining blockish ends of 2x4s with holiday scenes and tried selling them to everyone on our block. probably why i ended up such an awful salesperson.

cute post. i'm jealous of your kids' school.