Some of my best memories are of my girls when they were growing up. I loved being their mom. Thankfully one thing I will never have to say is that I didn’t spend enough time with them.
Talking to my daughter Jenni the other evening reminded me of how wonderful those growing up years were for me. I know there were struggles and no family is perfect but I am so thankful for the time we had to be together. I hope they always know they were my priority and were loved.
Some of the best moments for me were the countless bedtime stores. Boy did we READ! We would snuggle up together EVERY night and read before saying our goodnight and I love yous. When they were very little there were picture books with few words. I love books with beautiful illustrations but of course the words were just as important. As they got older the books still had wonderful pictures … but more words. The stories became longer and more complex. Later we moved to chapter books like Little House on the Prairie, Charlotte’s Web, Stuart Little and Strawberry Girl.
When thinking of my all time favorite children’s books, these will always be on the top of my list. I think every child should have them read to them and should know they are deeply loved.
This story begins while a son has just been born. The story continues through the life of the boy until he is a grown man. The mother continues to rock her son to sleep singing "I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always, as long as I'm living my baby you'll be." Later, the role is reversed and he holds his elderly mother and says "I'll love you forever I'll like you for always as long as I'm living my Mommy you'll be." At the very end of the story, the mother passes away and her son is the father of a little girl, rocking her to sleep singing the same song that his mother used to sing to him.
It doesn’t get any better than that. The story will definitely bring out a tear or two.
Corduroy was read and reread also. As the bear sits and waits for someone to buy him off the store shelf, there is also a little girl who is searching for a special toy to be more than just an ordinary toy; she wants a toy that will also be her friend.
The Little House is a book about the worries of a country house who watches many changes occurring around him. I like its happy ending.
The Runaway Bunny is another favorite as are other books by Margaret Wise Brown. I find it almost comical the way some people try to analyze and interpret some of these simple stories making them into something they were never intended to be.
Some say this book is a treatise on a mother's smothering love or how awful it is that this bunny really hates his mother. I choose to believe the story, written in the 1940s, is nothing more or less than an earnest expression of every parent's limitless love for his or her child.
Once there was a little bunny who wanted to run away.
So he said to his mother, “I am running away.”
“If you run away,” said his mother, “I will run after you.
For you are my little bunny.”
“If you run after me,” said the little bunny,
“I will become a fish in a trout stream
and I will swim away from you.”
“If you become a fish in a trout stream,” said his mother,
“I will become a fisherman and I will fish for you.”
And so it goes….
So many books…. Make Way for Ducklings, Apple Tree Christmas, Where the Sidewalk Ends, The Giving Tree, Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, Polar Express, Madeline, The Tale of Peter Rabbit, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, Blueberries for Sal, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Goodnight Moon, The Pokey Little Puppy… these are only a small fraction of the hundreds, if not thousands of books we read….
Time very well spent.