They walked into the bookstore…a young girl and her mother
and as they browsed throughout the store they held hands with one another.
I love the innocence of the young for wherever they chose to look
The little girl asked, "Mom can I have this puzzle…Mom, can I have this book."
She asked for every book she saw…everything under the sun
and after negotiating for a while…they narrowed it down to one.
When they arrived at the counter they were smiling…still holding hands with one another…they held in their other hands two books…one for the little girl…one for the mother.
I rang them up and I asked the mother, as I always do, when they were ready to go
if she wanted a receipt to which she smiled and answered…"No".
But then the little girl spoke up…in a voice both innocent and sweet
"If it's okay with you" she asked, "could I have the receipt? "
"Certainly." I said as I watched the smiles on their faces unfurl
when I handed the two books to the mother and the receipt to the little girl.
What a wonderful moment for me…what a wonderful treat…
as I watched that little girl smile while repeating…."This is my very first receipt."
The mother smiled at her daughter then glanced back and gave me a look
"She seems more excited about the receipt, " she said,
"than she is about her book."
And I had to smile as immediately my brain turned back all my internal clocks
to a time when we bought our son the perfect birthday present
and that present spent the day untouched while he played inside the box.
I hope some day this memory will stir…perhaps triggered by someone they meet…
of the time her mother bought her a book…but all she wanted was the receipt.