Sometimes It’s Hard To Be Nine

librarian desk file0001606127080We’re sitting in the Gulfport library, now at a table in the children’s section, out of earshot of the librarian. It’s time for my Little to figure out the next step. My Little had brought her library books back, but late, and also some money because some of them were damaged. Last time at the library she excitedly took out 10 books. But then, disaster. She had lost her library card, and no books were read. Her grandma had told her she couldn’t take out a lot of books anymore because she wasn’t being responsible….the books got damaged when they were in the family car, having tumbled out of a paper sack.

The librarian, recognizing a familiar situation with children, had reduced the late charges to only half of what was owed, and said that the damage charges would be waived. The librarian suggested that my nine year old Little could offer to do a chore for me in exchange for my coming up with the money owed to the library. That strategy was often used in her own family when the son needed more money than he had at the moment. The librarian said it was good at an early age to learn the lesson that we are all accountable for our responsibilities.

I suggested that we go sit at a table and sort things out. After a couple of minutes I asked my Little if she wanted to put the money she had brought for the damaged books toward what was owed on library fines. She didn’t answer. There were still three books she wanted to take out again. I waited. She sat and pouted, and wouldn’t answer my questions. She did pull the wallet out and looked at the money. She zipped it back up. Still no answer to my question. I pulled out the computer and started to do some work.

Ten minutes later I asked her again, “How much money did you bring toward the damage?” No answer. She got up and walked away from the table. I said, “Sit down, please”. She did. Then she opened up the wallet and pulled out 36 cents.

When I asked her again if she wanted me to pay the rest of the fines, she nodded her head. I told her I would, but she had to ask me. She said, “Would you do that for me?” I said yes I would, and she smiled. I suggested she call her grandma to ask her how many books were allowed.

Grandma said she could take out only one, not three. Now the angry nine year old shoved the three selected books back onto the library shelf and stormed off to the restroom. I met her near an exit table of free books and selected a couple for myself. I asked her again if she wanted to get a book, and this time she said yes. We left with the prized and now respected single selection. And she remembered by herself to write in her “Adventure Journal”

Sometimes it’s hard to be nine.

More Adventure

bbbs_a_logo_pplblk_0Two weeks had gone by before I saw my Little again, and so much had happened! Her Gramma had gone to the hospital with another COPD event, but she had recovered sufficiently to come home. Another big event, my Little’s mom had gone to hospital for her second baby. So now my little was a “big sister” herself!

It was important for me to check with an adult whether my Little had a  snack, and all was fine. That Saturday was quite hot –  though pretty normal for July in Florida. No trip to the library today, since my Little hadn’t read the books she had borrowed earlier, so off we went to the beach at Gulfport. But first, a surprise stop at a friend’s house – to pick up a “beginner” tennis racket for my Little. Surprises are good for everyone!

The best place to catch a breeze was close to the seawall, and we enjoyed the bench swing. The view was great and the breeze made the afternoon enjoyable! Sailboats moored at the marina, and sailboats were also pushing along on this part of the Intercoastal. To our right the pink-hued Don Cesar was spreading two arms, one south to Tierra Verde, one east across the Bayway toward Eckerd College and the Skyway Bridge.

Time to go, and while walking back we noticed the mollusks and barnacles on the rocks at the seawall base. On our way back to the car we listened to the zydecko musicians performing in the gazebo. Only about 15 minutes back to Little’s house, but we stopped first so she could write in her journal what we did. What a great way to spend a summer day!

Beginning an Adventure – Big and Little

A Big and a Little Playing

A Big and a Little Playing

Yesterday I took my Little out for the first time – an adventure for her, and one for me. Big Brothers Big Sisters creates possibilities for adults in a community to relate to children in either a school based or community based program. I’m a “Big”, the kids are “Littles”.  We have a choice of a School based program or a Community based  program, and I chose the latter since I work during the school day. My Little Loves to read – so yesterday we went to the Gulfport Library and she got her own Library card. She immediately picked out about 22 books to take home, including 3 in the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” series. 22  got whittled down to 10 – per the librarian’s suggestion….a wise move! I’ll see her again in 2 weeks.

Fishing and Fireworks

What a beautiful night! I had just finished swimming some laps in one of the pools in my condo, and though there was some lightning, it was time for fireworks from the beach! I should say beaches – almost every beach town in western Pinellas County puts on a show, a razzmadazzle of strutting its stuff.  I walked to the western part of our condo complex, Bay Island, so I could watch across the  water lapping our manmade fingers into the Gulf of Mexico. Turning the corner, I saw fishing pole, after fishing pole, folks watching the fireworks and enjoying the possibility of catching  some fish – that’s multitasking in a good way!But I didn’t have my camera!! What a waste of a great photo op!!

International Kite Festival

Treasure Island Waterslide

Pinellas International Council Trade Mission

Pinellas International Council’s first Trade Mission traveled to Mexico in October 2010, to view residences and developments in Cancun and Cozumel. As CIPS graduates, our Council knows the importance of developing long-term business opportunities through personal relationships with real estate professionals worldwide.

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