CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- I should know better by now than to challenge my child. Even though she's only 11, she is infinitely more creative and crafty than I am.
In a nutshell, we were talking about plans for this summer. For the past year, Celeste has talked obsessively about going to one of those places where she could (for a certain amount of cash) swim with the dolphins. I have enough frequent-flier miles that we can travel for free, but told her that's a drop in the bucket considering how much we would need for our hotel, meals and the cost of the swim.
Especially considering that she also wants to attend a two-week summer arts camp.
I told her she needs to choose one or the other, or earn enough money to finance it herself.
Her first tactic was to stalk through the house, pilfering all the loose change she could find. She became like an anteater, sucking up coins wherever she went. But it wasn't long before she realized that spare change alone couldn't finance her Flipper trip. After counting her change, and looking disheartened, she went up to her room.
And that's where her craftiness came into play.
In the form of a fundraising brochure.
She plans on sending a copy to everyone in our family. The text reads as follows:
"You know those charities where they give you the name and photograph of the actual child your money will help?