It is the birthday of Dr. Seuss so it only seems right to celebrate the day with a story about reading to our children. Dr. Seuss was one of our favorite authors to read together at bedtime. When my children get together and start talking about books we read when they were little, his titles always make the list.
John came back to the children's book section where I was on the floor with a stack of picture books. "Figures I'd find you here, Mom," he laughed as he came back to join me. It was funny to see him here where his head now nearly met the top of the shelves. Sitting at the small tables provided would have been a challenge for him.
"Where else would I be?" I replied matching the tone of his banter.
It really wasn't surprising to find me here. Whenever we are in a bookstore I always go straight to the picture book section. I'm always looking to see what is new, paying attention to how bookstores display their books, and always searching for a few new finds for my classroom shelves.
John continues to tease me about my obsession with picture books. We joke for a bit and suddenly my six foot college freshman takes pause. His silence, a bit unusual, causes me to look up from my book. His eyes begin to search the display. "I remember this one," he proclaimed picking up a copy of Time for Bed by Mem Fox. I smile at the memory. It seems only yesterday he was half his size. We spent night after night reading picture books before bed. We would cuddle up to read bedtime stories, new picture books I was considering for my classroom, stories we'd picked up at the library, and titles that had found a permanent home on our shelves.
John continues looking at the display of bedtime stories carefully arranged to attract attention. "These were the best," my son continues as he picks up familiar title after familiar title. By now I have forgotten the stack of picture books in my lap and am caught up in remembering. Remembering night after night curled up with a book with John and his sisters around me. I wonder how time trickled through our fingertips, but am thankful my son has tucked these same memories into his heart.
Go Away Big Green Monster! by Ed Emberley. "Every kid has to read this," he says emphatically as he continues to tell all the reasons this book is so important in the world of children's literature. Of course, all this talk about monsters in books brings us around to the conversation of his all time favorite book, Please Do Not Open This Book by Jon Stone. We are both caught up in the memory.
Looking at my son, I'm so proud of all he has become. I put my stack of picture books back on the shelf and walk out with him towering above me. Thankful for this small moment that reminded me of the importance of time together.