Yesterday I ran some errands at the Stanford Shopping Center. After I'd finished the shopping, Adriana and I played around the Merfrog Fountain for over an hour. She climbed up and down the steps, reached under the rail to splash her hands in the water (and then dried them on my pants), tried to imitate the older kids who ran around in circles, pointed at every dog that walked by, and fell over every now and then.
A mother with two young children stopped for a while. She was giving them pennies from her purse to toss into the fountain, and then she tossed in one herself. Adriana watched the boy and girl with interest, and their mother handed her a penny. With a look of complete glee, Adriana threw the coin overhand into the fountain.
I wondered what the little boy and girl were wishing for as they tossed their coins and what it was their mother had wished for. What will Adriana wish for one day when she is old enough to understand the concept? And then I realized that I cannot recall what sorts of things I used to wish for as a child throwing coins into the fountain outside Martinez City Hall when we went to visit my grandma at work or blew the seeds off of a dandelion. Did I wish for something concrete--a new toy or an ice cream cone? Or was it something more abstract, as my wishes are now when I indulge my childhood superstitions.
And I watched Adriana, realizing that not all my recent wishes have been all that abstract as I remembered all the coins I tossed into fountains and dandelion seeds I'd sent flying not so long ago, wishing for baby.