The sweet girl and I were on our way to the post office late this morning. I needed to buy some stamps, and was pilfering our change jar in the kitchen to come up with a pile of quarters. I decided to turn the errand into a bit of a math lesson.
I told her that one stamp costs forty-once cents, and asked her how many quarters she would need to buy one. We took four quarters out and talked about how each was worth twenty-five cents, then counted "by 25s" to 100. She then figured out that she would need two quarters to buy one stamp.
I decided to save the lesson in subtraction (how many cents would you get back in change from the two quarters) until later. That's because on closer scrutiny, I realized that one of the quarters was not a quarter at all. It was a franc.
I have no idea how French currency made its way into our kitchen jar. I occasionally come across Canadian pennies, but this was a first. Actually this is the first time I think I'd ever seen a franc. It's a lovely coin with what looks like a leafy branch on one side and a woman (lady liberty, perhaps?) in a gauzy gown on the other. This particular coin was minted in 1975.
The wonderfully serendipitous thing was that, after our post office run, we were planning to snuggle for some read-aloud time with a new chapter book. And today just "happened" to be the day we were starting Nancy Savage Carlson's book The Family Under the Bridge, which is set in...you guessed it...Paris.
So we spent time looking together at the franc, which will now be the basis of a coin collection. And then later we spent time talking about France. You've just got to love moments like that!