Friday, February 24, 2006

A red bag

When I was a kid, I had a red canvas tote bag with a rainbow on it. For a while, I carried my school books in it, until I grew out of it and discovered that a backpack is a more comfortable way to carry heavy textbooks.

After that, I used the bag when I went babysitting. I collected a few storybooks that I had outgrown and headed off to somebody's house for the evening, to earn my $2.50 per hour. I had learned from experience that a couple of good books, especially ones the child hadn't heard before, kept both me and the children entertained and out of trouble for an hour or two. For littler kids, it was also an effective distraction from the sometimes unsettling idea that the parents were away.

One little girl was two or three years old at the time. She learned quickly that the red bag held wonderful stories, and she started clamoring to hear them as soon as I walked in with the bag. I had to hold her off long enough to get instructions and see the parents off, but I'm glad the stories were a hit.


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