At Christmas, Bear (my eight year old son) received one of those money jar bank thingies that tallies your coin total as you add each piece of change. He loved it immediately! He loves the size - it's bigger than many I've seen - and he digs watching his grand total go up and up, as he scavenges our home, pocket, car and seat cushions for spare coins. He has become quite adept at expert coin recovery.
His excitement is palpable. We have all become his little assistants; all of us quick to dash over to him with found coins. The spare change from pockets that once spent a night or two in a little pile on the counter, no longer stops there. The coins go into his bank - period.
And now we all find ourselves thinking, "I'll give this little pile of coins to Bear" or "You can just give the spare change to him." His eagerness has even manifested in gifts of coin bags from afar - my father often comes in and hands him a heavy zip-loc, full of coins. His zest for the savings project has made us all part of the team!
Bear's bank has had me thinking. I've had a bit of a 'If you build it, they will come' kind of eye-opening. A few days ago, as I reached for a pile of change, thinking I'd give them to the coin jar project, I thought about how easily and effectively his whole plan was working. I began to consider how and why Bear got us so eager to help. It got me wondering how his set-up has worked out.
He is authentically excited about what he is doing. He let us all know what he wanted. We know it is good for him to fill his jar and get the money into his savings account over at the bank. He has made it easy for us to help and he is thankful when we do. He didn't beg us for the money, but we got caught up in his excitement.
Bear's bank is a good analogy for me. It's a picture I can hold in my mind for wishes and dreams. I can think about his little, plastic counting bank and remember that it is okay to ask for help - that it makes sense to share big projects with those around me. The bank is helping me remember to set things up so that success is fun and measurable, little by little. I like watching my son and his fun project. It makes me hopeful about dreams to come.