Recently I remembered my own dad coming home from the Raleigh Springs Mall where he sold arts and crafts. His pockets would be full of change. Jumping up and down in front of him, we begged for the “Change Game.”

Dad would draw out a fist full of change, less or more, depending on how old we were.


“Ready!” We cried. He opened his fist for a few seconds and we desperately counted the change in our heads as fast as possible. His hand closed.

“Seventy-four cents!”

“No, seventy-six!”

Dad opened his hand and counted the change.

“Oh… nope. It is seventy-nine cents. Look.” He held his hand out so we could double-check him.

“Again! Again!” We shouted. Daddy held out another handful of change and then closed his hand.

“Fifty-four!” I shouted.

“Fifty-four!” My brother shouted after me. Dad opened his hand and counted the change.

“Oh ho! It is fifty-four indeed. You said it first, so it's yours.” He poured the change into my open palms and I ran to dump it into my piggy bank. Pretty soon I'd have enough to go get ice cream. I had to collect enough to get everyone ice cream. That was the rule for getting Dad's change.