I was behind the counter of our book and toy store The Blue Bunny a few weeks ago on a Saturday, helping out Janet and Margie. A mother was paying for her items and her daughter ran up - very excited- and interrupted her.
"Mom! Can I please get this?"
I noticed that it was one of my signed prints called "Dream Big" featuring a girl with a paintbrush admiring her creative affirmation.
Her mom was determined to pay for her gathered items and get on with the day. With a quick glance at her daughter, she said firmly,
"No. Now put it back."
My heart lurched. This girl's wide eyes - imploring her mom for this print - were not noticed by her mother.
"Pleeeeeease, Mom! PLEASE!"
"No, put it back."
I thought how profound that moment was - this young girl, who resonated with the message: "DREAM BIG," was being told to "put the it back." This wasn't a can of soda or candy - this was a reminder to a young woman to make the most of her journey. I hoped that, given the opportunity, her mother would applaud and encourage this vision for her child, but here on this busy day, the moment was going unnoticed.
The clues - as to who her daughter was becoming- were about to be missed. It wasn't that I wanted her to buy the print, rather just notice what sparked her daughter.
I took the plunge and spoke up.
"Keep it. That's a gift from me to you."
The girl's eyes grew wider. "REALLY?"
"Yes. That image spoke to you and I think it's very important for you to have it."
"THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!"
Her mom paused, trying to catch up with what was happening. She took a look at what her daughter was holding and smiled. "Thank you!"
It felt good to help get one of those clues noticed I am hoping that this little print will hang on this girl's room, and then her college dorm wall, and in her office, and perhaps someday, in a little framed propped up on her desk in the Oval Office.
Hey, I dream big!