Friday, November 13, 2009

Not a collector, just sentimental, right?

I proudly say that I do not collect anything. I do not get a satisfaction from saying that I have every item of a certain something. In fact, I think it's a scam. When I see someone who has every item in a collection I imagine a hook in their mouth. No offense, friends. If I were a manufacturer I would make as many as you would buy. The collection would have no end! You would be running on a perpetual treadmill and your collection would never be complete, because I would not stop adding crucial items to expand it. I will not fall victim to such a waste of resources.

Do you think I dost protest too much? I just have this one little thing... I love children’s books. Our loft is lined with bookshelves on which rows and rows of children’s books humbly stand, currently unused and collecting dust. I rarely read them anymore. My youngest is about a year and a half past his last bedtime story. That was when he read a page then I read a page, taking turns. After all he needed to practice for school and I was happy to help.

Everyday I walk past those books without a thought in their direction. Yet all I have to do is stop and open one and a world of sweetness floods back to me. I relive the joy of pretending not to find the giggling child hiding under the buggers (covers) and waiting with a book. Telling them “A you're Adorable” and ” I Love you like Strawberry Milkshakes”. Sometimes it was scholarly study time from “Charlie Brown's 'Cyclopedia” and “The Way Things Work” and always a world where zoo animals, barn animals, and dinosaurs roam. We admired together the craftiness of Brer Rabbit, and fell in love with the bumbling Amelia Bedelia, and laughed at the poor princess who gets all bruised up from that little pea under all those mattresses. We had found a place where there are always “Caps for Sale” and elephants who can't forget. We had a blast pretending that our pets were a big red dog and a poky little puppy and a fast growing fish named Otto in our swimming pool. We befriended Winston, Newton, Elton, and Ed, Sammy the Seal and Baby Beluga. We learned that “Happiness is a Warm Puppy” and found out what Brown Bear sees. We learned to rhyme from Dr. Seuss and laugh with the Family Circus. We tricked mean Bill Brown with our duck feet and cheered on Captain Underpants. Of course we met important real people as well, like Daniel, Aaron, Joseph, Moses, Mary and David, and most of all, Jesus. Yep, bedtime was book time, and we loved it.

Ironically, reading in bed was supposed to help the kids get sleepy but most of the time I was the one struggling to keep my eyes open. After the back cover was closed, we prayed together then wished each other sweet dreams. "Read more mommy", "No, it is time to go teeps, lay your headdy down".

OK, maybe I am a collector... of wonderful memories with my babies. I must be, because I'll never let those books go. Someday I plan on introducing them to my grandkids, so maybe I should buy just a couple more.