Last week, there was a half day of school for two local high schools. Usually, that means it’s a slower than normal day for us. But Thursday saw the store graced by several sets of best-teenage-friends.
There is something immensely gratifying about teenagers choosing to come your bookstore. All the kids had to drive to the store, and they chose to spend some time with us. One of the kids, Maggie, has been coming to the store since she was two. She would come for story hour and she still remembers my reading of On Your Potty by Virginia Miller (sadly out of print), which had her in stitches every time I’d say, “Nah,” like the potty-training Bartholmew. Maggie’s sixteen now and came with her best friend to kill some time and really just look around. They pored over the fun stuff section, bouncing balls, spinning tops and generally just being silly. They each were making mental lists about who in their families would like what. If one found something really cool, they would come running over to the other. They even found great teacher gifts. Clearly, stopping at the store was impromptu, as neither actually had any money, so they pooled their resources to get a belated $3 funny Mother’s Day present.
The next set of kids to come in were more focused. What made this visit so gratifying is Kelsey was showing off the store to her friend, Dana. That’s high praise to me. I always feel like teenagers are busy enough, but for one to take the time to show off “her favorite store” to her best friend just makes me feel like we’re doing something right. Kelsey knew exactly what she wanted, The Poisonnwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. It was also a belated Mother’s Day present.
I asked if she’d like it wrapped and she was thrilled. Choosing the wrap was a lot of fun to watch. We have a board that has samples of our ten different wrap styles. I showed it to them and immediately it turned into a game. “Guess which one I’m getting for my Mom?” Dana guessed right. Then Dana asked,”Which one would I choose?” This went on for several minutes while I wrapped, with each girl asking the other what kind of wrap she’d pick for brother, her dad, etc. I couldn’t help but smile at their simple innocent fun. I gave the package extra ribbons and presented the book with a flourish. They practically clapped. I could hear them giggling all the way to the parking lot.
They left happy, and I stayed happy.