Ages and ages ago, when my twenty something kids were little, our local YMCA sponsored karate classes in which my son and daughter were enrolled. It was 90 minutes a couple of evenings a week just like millions of other classes our over-scheduled kids were pushed to take. I worked out at the Y in the morning before work and fully anticipated enjoying the kid’s antics from the sidelines but the class was fun and eventually the Sensei talked me (and several other bored parents) into joining. So two or three times a week I was at the Y at 5:30 in the morning in shorts and again at 7 in the evening in funny white pajamas.
The area to the left and right of the front entrance to the Y was a low maintenance pebble garden with a few hardy shrubs where my daughter would play sometimes while waiting for class to begin. One time she found a penny among the pebbles and was extraordinarily delighted. I noticed this and, before my morning workout on karate days, began seeding the rock garden with coins I accumulated in my car. Needless to say, my daughter became quite a fan of the pebble gardens before karate. She would prowl the pebbles relentlessly and become quite animated upon finding the coins I had scattered that morning. For some reason, no one else found or bothered with those coins and they were always there waiting for us when we arrived for class in the evenings.
My daughter turns 21 in a few months. I may finally tell her about that garden. Maybe not.