The Littlest Capitalist

Button Maker
Originally uploaded by xadrian.
A sign would show up on the counter, "Shop Open!" with hearts and stars and rainbows and an arrow pointing into the living room. Behind the steamer trunk sat Lil Miss Austin with an open lock box full of all the change she'd been siphoning off laundry and her parents' pockets. The shelves of her store were bookshelves, end tables and chairs. The merchandise for sale were items from around the house; DVDs, books, kitchen utensils, tools, knick-knacks, toys and jewelry. Often the items were marked with a price tag. Other times she had all the prices in her head.

She summon us from whatever adult thing we were doing and we'd make the slow walk through the emporium to sample her wares. It felt like a role playing game in which the store may not have what you actually needed, but you felt the urge to spend money on it just the same. I'd end up buying (back) a few DVDs and a ceramic kitten. I'd part with my nickels or quarters and be on my way. If she didn't have what I needed, I'd be put at ease at her placing the item on order if I wanted to come back later.

She built blanket forts and played dress up too, but to me the single activity that defined LMA was her capitalist nature. She likes to organize, plan and make money. If she can delegate, she will. If she can pull in favors, she will. She dislikes the idea of raising money for charities and would rather earn pure profit. She's not greedy, she doesn't just ask for money. She's constantly thinking of ways to make money. So this is a big deal for her.

She had a plastic button maker set, the kind you get from Michael's for $12. It came with a handful of buttons and you could order refills. She loved making them and wanted more. Ms. A had an acquaintance with a button maker for sale and so surprised LMA with it with the understanding that she'd make buttons and sell them to support her derby league. It's one of those giant, official, professional button makers too.

LMA's going to be part of the 3rd Jr. Derby league in Austin. It's brand new and will start skating soon. They're associated with the Boys and Girls Club of Austin. The reason behind this third group's formation is a weird and almost sad conflict of politics and bloodlines, but needless to say we're mostly just happy LMA can skate.

So this Saturday is the TXRD Championship. Part of Ms. A's derby responsibilities is marketing and merchandise. She's in charge of getting sponsors and setting up a lot of the tables and helping with vendors at the event. She's also signed on to do the same thing for the new Jr. league, which means LMA will have a table to sell her buttons at the big girl championship.

It's like a dream come true for her.

So a couple of the TXRD girls came over for "family dinner" night and helped make a lot of buttons. My guess is we'll need a couple hundred, so hopefully LMA doesn't run out of ideas.

So if you're going to the bout this Saturday, stop by the TXCR (or Jr. Derby) table and buy a button.

Carry on.

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