Friday, August 26, 2005

This morning, when I ran to the door to buzz in our babysitter, I jangled. “Coins?” asked Caroline, as I swooped to pick her up, football style, using her ribs as a hand hold and my right hip as a saddle, trying to get to the door before the second buzzer sounded and C started crying (she suffers doorbell intolerance).

We’re getting ready for a party tonight, and I’m cleaning all flat surfaces, picking up spare change and pocketing it as I move from one room to another. You can tell we’ve been traveling, because I’ve got danish koruna, euros, and swiss francs in three pockets and a varied cache – polish zloty, slovak crowns, the random british pence - in the last. We’ve been visiting the fringes of the euro zone, mostly, so we don’t appreciate the euro as much as I thought we would, back in 2002 when going to the grocery store in France meant a lesson from the cashier in the new coinage (this ees the euro 1, this ees the euro 2, this ees a penny, silly no?).

I like the multi-currencies though, when they aren’t weighing me down. Later, when I sort them to store, I'll admire their quaintly ugly faces (coin design, death by committee), remember the sweat of figuring each out while fumbling to pay, and try to calculate the number of coffees they could buy if we were back, traveling again.

But standing there, holding Caroline with one hand, pulling up my sagging blue jeans with the other, I think only about the relative weight of the things we value. “Coins indeed,” I say, and give Caroline my favorite – the silver danish koruna tooled with hearts around the edges, and a donut hole in the middle.


Ellen said...

have a great party! personally I love the 5 Franc Swissie...

Louise said...

Julia, you are a beautiful writer!