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Free Cookies

Ever been shopping and found yourself suddenly overtaken with a strong desire for chocolate-chip cookies? Here’s how to get some for free, without waiting in line or—for that matter—without even having to ask. Take your 6-year-old shopping for his best friend’s birthday present. It’s really that easy.

Here’s the scoop. The Lovely Caroline (TM) had her family birthday party the Sunday after Derby, and her parents were kind enough to invite Simon over, too. Caroline has lots of school friends at her school, as does Simon at his, and I suspect she’s got friends from her extra-curricular activities the same way Simon does. But as we approach the year mark of their departure from KIP, their friendship is stronger than ever.

Their interests are wildly divergent, but their hearts and temperaments are remarkably alike. Simon will draw mermaids with her, and Caroline will play basketball (with a dancing flourish) with him. So long as they are together, it’s all good. Their friendship bypassed cute a while ago; it’s truly a thing of beauty now.

Anyway, Caroline had “frog ring” on her birthday wish-list. I had no idea how to find a ring for a girl her age, but I figured frog jewelry shouldn’t be so hard. So on Oaks Day, for which school was cancelled, Simon and I went shopping. We failed to find a cute frog charm at a department store and jewelry store, but hit pay-dirt at Brighton, a jewelry and accessory shop.

While Simon and I deliberated over a plain silver frog and an enameled “C” charm with a butterfly on it, a clerk came over. I explained that I was looking for a girl-appealing frog charm, and she led me to a bright green princess frog complete with crown, pink gloves, and a bejeweled belly. It was perfect. But I wasn’t sure what length chain to get with it, and told Simon I needed to use him as my size model.

He turned puce.

“Relax, honey,” I assured him. “No one is going to look at you funny or laugh at you for shopping for a friend. Everyone here knows this isn’t for you, and I promise you that it’s super cool to shop for a girl like this.”

This got the original clerk’s attention.

“Oh, is this for your friend? Who is she?”

“Her name is Caroline, and she’s like my best friend probably. She loves swimming and tennis and math, and she almost loves soccer. [She doesn’t at all, but a boy can hope.] Oh! And she can draw really well and can even write cursive. She also really loves butterflies and fairies and stuff.”

As he spoke, he smiled broadly, which means the dimples came out. So there was my very cute 6-year-old son with a frog necklace around his neck waxing poetic about his best friend, the girl the necklace was for. At this point, I’m hearing things like “Look at those dimples!” and “Oh my gosh, does he have a girlfriend?” and “So cuuuute!” coming from two other clerks behind the store counter.

Then one disappeared briefly, returning with a plate of chocolate-chip cookies moments later.

“Here honey. Would you like a cookie for being such a good shopper?”

Would he? Of course he would! I grabbed one, too, and relished the fact that these three strangers clearly thought my son’s regard for his best friend was a thing of beauty, too.

One Response to “Free Cookies”

  1. blg says:

    What a grand story. I hope Caroline treasures her gift as much as Simon values her and their friendship.

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