Monday, March 9, 2009

yes, I'm THAT kind of aunt

So the first gift I had to give once we decided to go through with this endeavor was to my 8 year old niece for her birthday. This was a problem. For one thing, due to family discord, I haven't seen her since she was 2! So I basically don't know her, don't know her likes or dislikes, or obsessions as 8 year olds tend to have. On top of all of this, I have to give her something used, recycled, or consumable? This is going to head right back into family discord!

And then... I remembered a gift card I had gotten at Christmas!! Would this be cheating? I deliberated, and decided, NO! And it just so happens that the gift card is to Barnes and Noble. And it just so happens that my husband and I are notorious book-givers to children. I know, I know. They want toys. But that's what everyone else gets them, we rationalize! And we're both English majors, so it feels like it's our civic duty or something. So I do decide it's not cheating, because it's like recycling another gift.

As I walk down the aisles of the bookstore, I realize I have no idea what an 8 year old reads. I try to think back, but let's face it, those memories are all but gone. I have vague recollections of Sounder, Old Yeller, Bridge to Teribithia... soooo depressing. I stop in front of a Hanna Montana rack of stuff. There are pens there that when you press a button, it sings like Hanna Montana. I figure this is golden. It sings a song called Rock Star or something like that and I grab it! Ok, so it was a moment of weakness, but I want her to have something fun. Now on to books. I wander around aimlessly until I find someone to ask. What do 8 year olds like to read? She points me to Junie B books. I have never heard of these books, but I take her advice and pick up a boxed set. I feel relief, satisfaction, and cheerful that I have gotten her something I know she'll enjoy, and something I hope she'll enjoy.

Last report: she liked the books fine, but the pen was so cool! So that wasn't so bad. Next up is my birthday... wonder how my husband will handle that.

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