Sunday, March 3, 2013
A woman came up to the register at the bookstore where I work. She was with her daughter. The woman, maybe early 30's, brown hair pulled back in a ponytail, wearing a brown jacket and checked scarf, told me they were there to pick up a book they had ordered. She told me the last name and I pulled it off the hold shelf and handed it to them.
"Is this your book?" I asked.
The book was MY BOOK ABOUT ME by Dr. Seuss, a book where children can use the pages to write or draw about themselves.
She nodded to me and then asked her daughter, "Is this the book you wanted?"
The girl, about three or four years old, with blond curly hair and wearing a pink raincoat, nodded and smiled.
The mom looked at me and explained, "She found mine, the one I'd filled in when I was little."
"Oh, that's great!" I said. Turning to the girl I asked, "Did you find out things about your mom?"
She nodded again and said, "Yes. I saw how big her hand was and her foots too."
"Was her hand in the book bigger or smaller than your hand?" I asked.
The girl looked at her mom. "I'm not sure she compared them," the mom said.
I looked at the girl again, "Now you get to do your own!" I said.
"Yes," she said, and then she added, "and maybe I will give it to someoone!"
"Or maybe someday you will have a little girl who will find it and get to find out about you!" I said.
Her eyes got big and her mouth opened. Her head tilted back, as though the idea was just too incredible. "Well then I'm deffnittly not giving it away to someone!"
Her mom and I both cracked up.
"Have fun with your book!", I said as they were leaving.
Another woman and daughter came up to the counter with a stack of books and a Hunger Games tote back to buy.
I asked if they were part of our store's Kid's Club program, and the woman gestured over to her daughter and said, "I don't think so, she turns 13 tomorrow, and we're getting a few books for her for her birthday!
"Yes," I said, "that's too old for the Kid's Club, but I think books are a great birthday gift!"
"I do too," the mom said. "A few years ago we decided that for birthdays and Christmas, we'd give the kids something they need, something to read, something they want, and something to wear."
"Oh, I like that," I said. "It kind of narrows it down and helps it all not be so overwhelming."
"I know. I wish I could say I came up with the idea, but I didn't," she said.
"Where did you get the idea?" I asked.
"A friend of ours was out of work. He and his wife sat down with their family and said that they couldn't afford to do gift-giving like they had in the past, so this is how they were going to do it. The kids could tell them what they wanted, but the items had to fit in those parameters," she explained.
"That's great. What a good idea. What were the four things again?", I asked as I got a piece of paper to write them down.
"Something they need, something to read, something they want, and something to wear."
"Thanks! And happy birthday!", I said to the girl, who had been standing quietly by the register, eying the books eagerly.
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