I mean the Scholastic Book Fair, of course. [yes, really!!!]
I remember really fondly the Scholastic Book Fairs at my elementary school back home. I remember all the cafeteria tables lined up end to end out in the yard. I remember all the colorful displays, the flurry of people, the carnival-like atmosphere. I remember getting so excited when spring came around 'cause it was just a matter of time til the next one hit our campus. But most of all, I remember the books.
Man, there were just soooo many books to choose from. Stacks and stacks. Piled high in boxes beside the tables. Fanned atop table cloths. Leaning against "I love to read!" bookends. All begging to be picked up and lovingly paged through, though I was always so careful not to lick my finger as I turned the brand new stiff and shiny leaves.
I LOVED the book fairs. I could just never get enough. I would get to school early, finish my lunch in record time, asked to be excused for restroom breaks a million times throughout the day just so that I could have another opportunity to rifle through the book bins.
Man...good times...good times.
And even today, the smell of brand new books always takes me back to those bright sunny Texas days when I was 10 and the world was my oyster...
Because it never once occurred to me, as I'm sure it doesn't with most children, that there was a --- SIGNIFICANT (some might even say exhorbitant) --- cost involved in making that magnificent memory and satisfying that thirst for knowledge of which I was wholly unaware, but which I've apparently also passed on to our children. [and this is where I yet again apologize profusely to my parents for another one of those lessons you only learn "after you have your own children"]
So the iniquitous book fair has cleverly planted its roots directly in the middle of the preschool and daycare center, so that all students, coming or going, HAVE to pass right by it. Every single day. Four to six times a day. For two weeks straight!
"Ooh, Mama, can I take this one? I saw it at lunch time and I LOOOOOVE it!"
"Mama, Mama, yook at this, yook at this! I don't have this one at home!!!"
"Mama, if you get me this one, I will read it to you at dinnertime. Would you like that?"
"I'm going to tell Mommy about this one. I know she will want me to have this."
"Chago, you take this one and I will take this one. Mama, can you pwease pay for these now?"
"Yook, Mama, what I got for Saia because she's my sister and I love her."
[I just gave the school my credit card on Monday and left a freaking tab open.]