“Are ALL of these my size, mama?” Maggie squealed, running towards an aisle thick with sparkly shirts in rainbow sorted order.
“Yes, babe. Look up,” I replied, pointing to the pink 8-10 GIRLS sign above her head. “Those signs tell us what sizes are on each row. And you wear size 8-10!”

I normally detest taking the children shopping with me. But now that I have Saturdays off, we’ve been catching up on lost time and cramming in as much family time as possible.
All six of us.

Like today….
Thrift store browsing for mid-century modern furniture for our 1950’s living room.
Fresh new spring haircuts for everyone.
A leisurely drive through town complete with story telling and radio sing alongs.
A picnic of cold pizza and giggles in the car.
Grocery shopping for life necessities such as Cadbury chocolate fruit bars and cold Pepsi.
A visit to Five Below where two 14′ jump ropes landed in my shopping cart, convincing me that I must teach my kids to double dutch.

And a stop at Once Upon a Child.

That’s where we were when Maggie spied the sheer turquoise modern, draping button down blouse peeking out from the green section of the 8-10 GIRLS aisle. It’s sleeves were softly clipped up to 3/4th length. Small ruffles ran the length of the collar area.
“Oh wow, that’s gorgeous!” I catch myself saying to my almost 7 year old daughter, running my fingers down the material. I pictured it with leggings. Boots. A long necklace.
Maggie drew in a breath. Her eyes widened. “Oh mama! It’s SO so beautiful!” She pulled it out for a better look.
“I’d love to get that for myself!” I whispered to her.
“Me too. I want it too. It would be so great for both of us! We can share it!” Maggie said innocently.

Then she hung it back up, turned and hugged me tightly.
I ran my hands down the back of her head until her freshly cut chin length bob reminded me that she had no more hair to pet. This haircut matured her by at least three years since this morning! She’s talking more lately too. Her hour of nightly reading seems to be affecting her vocabulary and language output. But right now she’s silent as she continues to squeeze my waist.

“I love you, mommy.”
“I love you too, JojoBird.”

In the end, books were the only things we purchased. Jack chose Magic Tree House #1, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and Chu Ju’s House. Maggie chose Charlotte’s Web and three Junie B Jones books.

We are all sitting together on our long living room couch now. Kevin is grilling chicken. The boys are watching Angry Birds Go on TV’s YouTube app. Juli is eating a plate of pasta and Texas Toast at the coffee table. Maggie is reading Junie B Jones to me. With excitement. And expression. And her extraneous commentary on characters is making us both laugh.

She’s already halfway done with Junie B Jones, First Grader. Just like she herself is halfway done with first grade.

And the turquoise blouse is still on its hanger in the green section of the 8-10 GIRLS aisle in a small store out on Harbison Boulevard.

Published by Lisa Cole

Lisa Cole is a freelance writer and social media specialist skilled in non-profit marketing and grass roots advertising. This mother of four weaves humor, emotion and depth into stories about parenthood and life in the American South.

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