My daughter was whining about how she wanted to go do something but everything was so expensive .If this was some hint that I lend (give) her money, she was barking up the wrong tree!
I sat there looking at her a moment and then asked, “Do you remember the stuff we did when you were a kid? I had little to no money, yet we always had some where to go, something to do. That’s what you do, cope.”
As a single parent attending night school and working at a pink collar seemingly dead-end job, money was tight. Yet, we never wanted for things to do. I was always able to come up with something that did not cost much, if anything at all.
There was the duck pond at the Cave Hill Cemetery. At the time, you could pick up a bag of bread for pennies (recently I visited a Day Old place and the bread was higher that at ALDI…what the hell is going on?!!) . Off we would go and have a great and inexpensive time. And we were not alone. Those were some of the best fed ducks in the city..if not in the world.
There was a dollar movie theater within a few miles of us. There were four screens and every week featured a family friendly movie. Because times were rough, we would sneak in our snacks and avoid the concession stand. I have this image in my minds eye of Bridget and one of her friends standing in front of the Snack Police clutching to their tiny brests small brown bags of penny candy looking guilty and caught red handed. “NOT ALLOWED!!” she bellowed, I pushed them in past her looming glare and just glared back.
Other times we would just go to one of the many city parks. The city is just filled with them! Wonderful parks packed with children area’s that offered many hours of muscle building, sweet child sweat producing exercise. Swing sets, monkey bars, teeter toter's, slides….and the chance for Bridget to meet other children.
The libraries were always a welcome haven with their children area’s, Children’s Hour and lots and lots of books. Bridget would spend lots of time shifting through books looking for her favorites and making me read them right then and there to her! I know Hop On Pop by heart, even to this day.
At various times through out the year the area Malls had some type of happening going on. Everything from the finalist of the science projects, to the mind blowing displays of train sets at Christmas. Now that I think about it, there was always something being highlighted! The kiosk’s had yet to take over all that open space!
We would take trips to the Pet Shops and she would look at all the puppies and kittens, the fish and the spiders in the glass tanks…yuck….she loved it.
We may have had little money to spend on entertainment, but entertainment was only an imagination away.