It's cold and snowy in our city today, and after cabin fever creativity had resulted in a plastic scuba diver with a broken leg, an entire Yahtzee game gone awry, and a fireman carefully poised atop one blade of the ceiling fan, it was time to leave the house.
To the mall we shall go, my little men.
After we had visited the puppies, guinea pigs, and bunnies in the pet store, and after we had ridden the escalators up and down and up and down and up and then back down, we visited the fountain. I only had dimes and quarters in my purse, and I'm not so much about tossing those in by the handful, and the boys weren't interested in the time investment of traveling to the food court to trade a dime for ten pennies.
So, they called on their own ingenuity: they climbed the rocks, leaned over the side, held one another's feet for safe keeping, and gathered pennies of their own from inside the fountain.
I'm pretty sure there is something unethical or illegal - or at least unsanitary - about that. But it's not like we kept them. It was entirely a catch-and-release system. Oh, look, a penny. Toss. Hey! A nickel! Two pennies! Toss, toss.
So, since we weren't pocketing the change for our own lunches in the food court, I think there's only one thing really at risk: the wishes. I think there is some fairytale rule that says you can only wish on a penny once before you toss it in the fountain. After that, maybe you're wishing for someone else's wish again, or wishing their wish for yourself. And when I think about it that way, my children probably retrieved the pennies of children who wished for a new baby in the family, for new teeth for Christmas, or for a pet snake.
All of which I can say are effectively not happening anytime soon for my kids.
Anyway, it all worked out in the end. An outing for us, pennies for them, a break for me, and dry clothes for all. Somehow.
And maybe those count for a few granted wishes.