She dragged her book bag up the stairs.
Step, bang. Step, bang.
“It looks heavy,” I noted.
“Yeah,” she huffed and paused to frown in the direction of the patchwork of princesses on the backpack. I found myself wondering whether she was directing discontent at her idolized figures not using their royal powers to, at the very least, summon genie help to manage gravity.
“Want me to help carry the bag for you?” I offered.
She raised an eyebrow as if the mere thought of my definitely-not-princess hands handling her bag was beneath the Disney figures that dignified it.
The first-grader lugged the bag another step and stopped, perhaps to reconsider if there are times when commoners’ help is better than none at all. “Yeah,” she nodded.
I walked down to take the bag from her. The thing was heavy!
“What do you have in there?!” I asked. “Rocks?!”
“Aha,” she nodded sagely, skipped a few steps up ahead of me and swiveled her head to look back at me. “Come faster. I want to show you.”
I lifted the bag (and an eyebrow) in her direction and she giggled. “Sorry… Thanks.”
Once upstairs she indicated I was to clear space for whatever that was, then ceremoniously unzipped the top of her school bag and pulled out a succession of boulders. She placed each with care onto the desk. Several pounds of them.
I waited. The lot looked to me like run-of-the-mill New York stones: mostly dark gray schist dappled with a bit of quartz glint.
She leaned back in her chair and waited. Clearly a reaction was warranted.
“That’s a lot of rocks!” I managed.
“Not regular rocks,” she admonished. “These have magic.”
“Yeah,” she proclaimed. “They have real magic. And gold, too. Inside.”
I tilted my head a bit to one side and nodded my interest.
She narrowed her eyes at me, weighing the merits of talking to grown ups about matters of magic and gold. “They can even make your wishes come true …”
“But … ” she regarded me before adding, a bit haughtily and perhaps to punish me for my lack of immediate awe, “you do have to believe in them, so they’ll only do the magic for me.”
For The Daily Post