Our day started with the “LIbrrrrary!” which is pretty much the best place ever if you are Ava Jing Qiao Pierce. The summer reading program totally works for this super-competitive gal who spends every available moment “reading” through one of her comic books or convincing me or her dad to read to her in precise twenty minute chunks. Its hard to keep up with big brother and sister when she is a fluent reader in neither Chinese nor English – but man she TRIES. And she loves the library.
But let’s be honest, the library is pretty much our family’s happy place. Naomi heads to young adults, Quinn camps out in manga and comics, I surf the “new releases” rack where I find new treasures every week. After checking out a metric ton of books (we average about fifty a week, really.) We head for burgers at the drive through. I have discovered that if you skip the fries and drink water, three cheeseburgers are pretty much a deal. Best. News. Ever. We pull up to the drive through intercom and the friendly voice on the other ends asks “Hello! How are you?” to which Ava scream-yells from the backseat “SO HOT! SO HUUUNGRY!” and we all crack up. This girl.
Well, kids love the library and burgers from the drive through – Mama loves the old-lady thrift shop where vintage goodies and discarded fun stuff can be found for a pittance. Naomi and Quinn moan as we pull up to “All Saints Secondhand Store” – a hole in the wall which I work hard not to tell others about (oops) lest they get to the goods before me. N and Q do not love the thrift store-ing as well as I do, but Ava is still too young to know better and eagerly follow me inside to play with an odd assortment of toys and wander the aisles looking at vintage handbags in various shades of plastic.
Thrift shopping is all about perspective as Macklemoore so deftly teaches us in one of his most popular songs. I pass by dingy clothes and tired American flags on clearance and discover a mail scale for $1 – SCORE! Perfect for all kinds of pretend play. We also scoop a tiny but loud bell for 25 cents and a little radio/clock/calendar electronic gadget for another $1 – electronic gadgets are almost always wins. I find a collection of giant wall hoops – great for fun vintage decorating for $5 and we return triumphant to the car, where Naomi and Quinn are reading away.
Now home for the best part. Reading and play. Ava is still new to this wonderful land of creative play so I show her the magic we can create. We pull out her ancient cash register and place it at the dining room table along with her new bell, scale, a stack of old mail labels, some index cards and a box of pens. I show her how to weigh things and calculate a price, how to label things around the house with price tags, how to add up the prices and bag the goods. She figures out how to ring the bell for the shop opening all on her own.
Three hours flash by as I shop her store. Between store openings the doors close for her to add prices to new items and I steal five more minutes of reading in my new books. We are all happy.
We end the day eating Egyptian Koshary as friends join us for movies (for kids) and long talks (adults.)
This is a day in our summer lives.