When is a bookstore not a bookstore…certainly we have books galore…

but I think that sometimes it all depends on who comes in the store.


Some people come in for the air-conditioning…some to get out of the rain

Some people only peek their heads in and quickly pull them out again.


There is one women who comes in…an older woman…she always wears a hat.

She sits in a chair near the counter and all she wants to do is chat.


Yesterday a mother carrying her daughter on her shoulder walked into the store

Her daughter quickly smiled then toddled away when her mom set her on the floor.


The days when my children and grandchildren were that small are long ago in the past.

I had forgotten, in the interim, how something that small could move so fast.


Her mother immediately shot me a smile…or was it a look of dread?

“She headed down that aisle.” I pointed. “Toward the children’s section.” I said.


As her mother ran to the back of the store…now fully engrossed in the hunt

I had to smile as her daughter…had already returned to the front.


I heard her mother call her name…in that deep voice of a headmaster…

which only caused her daughter to smile and run away a little faster.


As I watched the daughter play this game and heard her mother’s sighs

I remember back to those sweet days of my own parental exercise.


The mother finally corralled her daughter…(she somehow found a way)

saying, “I don’t think the bookstore was a good idea…we’ll come back another day.”


And again in the interim I had forgotten toddlers are smarter than we think…

because as she waved goodby from her mother’s shoulder…I’m sure I saw her wink!


When is a bookstore not a bookstore?  

When it’s a place in which people peek…

When it’s a place to sit and chat a while…

or for a child to play hide and seek.

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