13 July 2018

Reminiscing: The Penny Game

The Penny Game

From today's parenting standards, the penny game might be considered bad. It wasn't the game that mattered to me when I was little. It made me laugh. Not one of those giggle type laughs. No. This was the full belly pain, side aching laugh that comes when you can't breathe. The good kind of laugh. I was younger, perhaps three or four, when my dad first started playing the penny game with me. We didn't have much so our living room was mostly empty. It didn't matter that we never had brand new toys or tons of fancy things in our home. Spending time with our dad was the best "toy" my brother and I could dream up. 

One evening, my dad tossed a penny on the floor a few feet from me. Shiny object! A toddler wastes no time reaching for it! I saw it and I wanted that shiny little penny. Without hesitation, I started to crawl toward it. Dad was smiling and watching me the whole time. Just as my little fingers were about to touch the cold metal, Dad grabbed my ankle and gently tugged. It was just enough to make that penny seem too far to reach. He told me to go get it with a little grin on his face. I tried again and I got within inches of the penny, began to reach and again he pulled me back from it. 

Excited that I nearly had it in my little fingers I laughed. I laughed hysterically realizing that my dad had been the culprit who was preventing me from reaching the shiny little coin. He tugged me far enough back so that it would take me a few more crawls to get to the penny again. This time, I giggled the whole way to the penny. I crawled as fast as I could, but he was much faster. Before I could reach for it, he swiped the penny, picked it up and tossed in a different direction - just out of reach.

I laughed, but was determined to get that shiny coin! I rotated on my knees and headed for the new location where the penny lay and crawled furiously. I laughed and giggled the entire way there. Again, as soon as I had the penny within reaching distance his hand grabbed my ankle and pulled me back. My father's hand reached around and grabbed the penny. I giggled more uncontrollably as I turned on my back watching where my dad was going to toss it. And again, I crawled for it.

The penny game kept me busy and it cost nothing to provide as entertainment. How amazing that such a small item could provide so much fun. Of course I never got the penny, but that wasn't the purpose. I'm sure my dad would have a little different version of these events, but from my memory, these are the truths as I remember them.