The Pickle Jar

  One of my earliest memories as a child is of an old pickle jar my parents dermeshad in their bedroom. It sat on the floor by the bed and was where my father deposited change from his pockets each night before going to bed. I eagerly watched him drop the coins and listened in delight to the pings and tings they made as they hit the glass. As I got older, I understood more about the jar and the significance of my father's nightly ritual. You see, I grew up in a small town where most people worked in the local factory. It was hard, honest work, but it took its toll on everyone's health much more than it filled their pockets. The pickle dermes jar was my father's fight against the factory and for his dream of putting me through college. Each time the jar was full, my father and I would ride off to the bank to deposit our collected treasure. On the way, he would tell me that college would bring me more opportunities than I could imagine and that there was more to life than that rickety old town could offer.

Years later, after I had finished college, I was at my parents' house when they were having trouble installing their new carpet. While moving things into their bedroom, I noticed the pickle jar was gone. Part of me felt Playgroupsad not to see that precious memory from my childhood, yet its absence was proof that my father's determination had paid off. Now a mother myself, I keep my own pickle jar, and night by night, I fill it with the hopes and dreams I have for my children a few coins at a time.