Penny Pony Rides

by Kristi Van Dyk in

I learn new things the longer I become a stay-at-home mom. Some of them are sad, others odd, this new learning makes me believe in people again :) ... (You know how sometimes people as a whole make you lose faith in humanity, but then the kindness of stranger, or an unexpected community can restore it again ...) Here's a new learning for me. I was at the West Main Meijer (the one closest to our home, though not always the one we frequent) and overheard some women in front of me talking about "Sandy" the penny pony. They were chuckling to themselves as a little girl, whose father was still in line and busy with two other children, approached the pony, picked up a penny from a small stack near the base, and popped it in. She rode the pony several times and then her father called her to leave. On his way by the pony, he deposited several more pennies on the stack by the pony ... The woman in front of me described the scene to her mother, "Isn't this sweet?," She says. People drop their extra change at the pony for other's peoples children. So that a parent who really wants to permit a pony ride, but doesn't have cash, is able to provide the ride without change of their own. The assumption is, that if you ever have pennies, you stack them there for someone else when they need them.

I tucked the idea away since I always have pennies I don't want, but rarely bring them into the store. I had forgotten again until an elderly lady approached me in the check out line. I was bouncing Benny in the Baby Bjorn (he is on a feeding CRAZE and it had been almost two hours, so ... you know, he was starving), and Kayleigh was chatting cheerfully with a couple behind me. This elderly lady and her husband had been Kayleigh's new friends. The woman came up and said, "Is your beautiful, friendly daughter allowed to ride the P-O-N-Y?" I chuckled because we do spell things for her ... she hears familiar words in conversation (even unrelated context and flips out). I said absolutely and she deposited pennies into my palm. This triggered my memory and I looked, curious to see how many people were in on the Penny Pony Donation Plan ... Sure enough there were two tall stacks of pennies neatly lined up on the base of the pony. I smiled, thanked the lady, had Kayleigh thank the lady, and after checking out, let Kayleigh have her first penny pony ride.

Next week when shop (or tomorrow, whenever I discover that I don't have everything I need yet again), I'll deposit a few of the many unwanted pennies I have in the the tray in the van. Such a fun tradition ... such a pleasant way to end a shopping trip.

Kayleigh's first pony ride: (Please excuse the messy hair, we have limited time to leave with Benny's crazy feeding as of late ... we basically feed him and RUN ... if hair isn't done or clothes not perfect, oh well ... time is of the essence!) :)

[caption id="attachment_664" align="aligncenter" width="640" caption="Don't let her somber expression fool you; she is in awe that such a thing exists!"][/caption]