There is a lovely occurrence every summer at our store. Visiting friends get a personal tour of the store. What makes this especially lovely is when the tour guides are children.
Yesterday, Emma, a girl of about eight or so, led a very thorough tour of the store for her visiting cousins. Each section was described in great detail. The board book section was described in these terms: “I used to get from this part, but now I go here.” She led her younger cousins to the middle grade section where all the kids camped out for a little while. When they were getting ready to get rung up, Emma told the kids that “they have the best toys.” The family then proceeded to play with the noisy toys, having an absolute ball. Young Emma also encouraged her youngest cousin to check out the vacuum in the bathroom. Apparently, cleaning supplies in the bathroom are fun for kids to see.
What I love about kids showing off the store is their absolute sense of pride in us. Sometimes I forget that kids feel very strongly about the store. They may not always express this the way their parents do, by actually telling us – they just run to the sections that make them happy. Ownership in the store starts young. Little kids saying things like “This is where I got my favorite book” make me inordinately pleased. Sometimes, all I need at the end of a long day is a kid who walks proudly through the store exclaiming the whole time.