Tonight I read 3 books with Memmy that we have been reading every night for a few days: Are You My Mother?; Blue Hat, Green Hat; and There’s a Wocket in my Pocket. He, of course, has them mostly memorized. Most nights he reads Blue Hat, Green Hat to me. When I read the last page of Are You My Mother? tonight I inadvertently skipped the sentence “You are not a kitten.” and went straight to “You are not a hen.” His quick response was “You mean kitten.”
Memmy has had a few other favorites over the last four-ish years. Big Red Barn stands out to me as one of the biggest.
Lucy loved A Color of His Own by Leo Lioni. I read New Shoes, Red Shoes lots of times and 12 Hats for Lena.
Bubby loved Goodnight Moon and Go Dog Go! and Hop on Pop.
I have read Richard Scary’s Cars and Trucks and Things that Go so many times that it doesn’t even seem long anymore.
I have never let a Christmas season go by without a cuddle up for How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Twas the Night Before Christmas. (not even the first one when Bub was just weeks old)
I buy the kids a Christmas book most years and write a little message with the date inside. I have to admit that I was doubting the sanity of this tradition one June when I was still reading The Queen of Christmas by Mary Englebreit. Thank God for the pretty pictures.
I’d like to be able to say that I have mainly exposed my children to quality literature, but all of their favorites aren’t award winners. They have all absolutely loved an interactive book called Jimmy’s Snowy Book. I can’t believe it still works after all these years! They have a series of books from The Dollar General Store about different types of transportation (complete with vehicles with faces). I think I have those memorized too – Peppy Pick up Truck and Fizzy Fire Engine and Hi-Fly Helicopter.
I have read many of those character books over the years that the teacher in me sees as a little less than perfect…the ones with the latest theme and Dora or My Little Pony or The Backyardigans or Blue or Bob the Builder or Barney or even The Rugrats.
I have not always so patiently waited while hundreds of flaps were lifted over and over and over.
There are so many more that we have all loved. Though I know the value of a good book… Though I know the value of learning and loving learning… The greatest value found in each of these books is time. Time reading. Time listening. Time talking. Time cuddling. Time hugging and loving.
I cherished reading time with Bubby for all its newness and excitement. I, unfortunately, rushed it with Lucy as her toddler years were sandwiched between a very demanding older brother and a needy infant one. But, I am doing my best to savor it with Memmy.
Tomorrow night, when I read Are You My Mother? again, I’ll be thanking God that I get to be his mother and I’ll squeeze him a little tighter and I won’t forget “You are not a kitten.”