Iza, Age 10, Warsaw, Poland

Did it ever happen that when you were little, you did something that seemed perfectly normal? Something that you feel embarrassed about now?

When I was little, my sister, Emily, would take me shopping when she would buy clothes. I would admire the long pants or the colorful shirts. Once I decided to play hide-and-seek without telling her. I quickly found a good spot in the shop and waited there for quite a while. Out of boredom I came out and was found.

It was a sunny day in New York City and Emily and I went shopping in Macys (a clothes store). My sister was always insistent on buying new clothes often.  She told me that she was buying a pink pair of pants and a matching blouse. I asked if I could help her. She said that I could. I got excited because I could help a grown-up in shopping. We walked in graciously. We looked for a good place with the clothing that we were looking for about half and hour (and found it). The sizes were wrong so we went somewhere else (we were still in Macys). We looked and looked. We couldnít find what we were looking for. We decided to look for blue pants and blue shirt instead. In the meantime, Emily found a sweater and tried it on. It was perfect! We still looked for the pants and blouse.

Suddenly, I got a wonderful idea! I would play hide-and-seek with Emily in the store!  After a moment I decided that I wouldnít tell her. It would be a surprise! When she found me I would be proud of the surprise. In my excitement I realized something. I nearly forgot that I needed to find a place to hide! I started looking and in the meantime getting farther and farther away from my older sister.

After a few minutes I found a great spot. By the wall, there was a place where there were thick, long rows of jeans. Behind them was a small spot where I could fit. I sneaked in and made sure no-one was looking. I entertained myself by thinking about what I would eat for dinner. I wondered if my sister had started looking yet. As I waited I got very impatient. I finally decided to come out and tell Emily where I was hiding. So I sneaked out and started walking around, trying to find my dear older sister.  Suddenly, a man found me and picked me up on his shoulders. I was surprised, but I didnít squirm or talk. I let him take me wherever he wanted. We bent around a corner and I saw my sister crying. She was surrounded by people. When she saw me she scooped me up and hugged me (still crying hysterically). Later when we were in the car she asked me were I was. I proudly told her of my hiding spot. She told me that she was very worried where I was and that I should never do that again.  I agreed, still not knowing what she meant.  Now that you know, letís hope you donít play hide-and-seek in stores any more! You know the consequences waiting for you!

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