A few weeks ago, I gave each of my kids a small, 80 sheet, spiral-bound notebook. Periodically, they write or draw in them. I have paid little attention to these notebooks, until today when a very serious Buddy said that his notebook would become a book when all the pages had writing on them.
“I’m almost done,” he said, “There. Now it’s a book. Will you read it to us at bedtime, mama?”
“Gosh, Buddy. You wrote the book, maybe you should read it.” I said, still trying to process what he meant.
“I can’t, mama, I don’t know the words.” He was very serious.
“I’m not sure that I know the words, either.”
He tried his grandmother.
“Grandma, will you read my book to us at bedtime?” he asked.
“I think you should read it, Buddy. You wrote it. What’s your book about anyway?”
“It’s about everything,” he said with a shrug.
Finally realizing that this was important to him, I said, “I’ll try to read it, Buddy. If I get stuck, will you help me?”
“Sure, mama. It ends with flowers.”
At bedtime, I sat down in the rocking chair with Goose and Buddy, as I do every night, and opened Buddy’s book. He was grinning ear to ear.
“This is the beginning, mama.” (Yes, he calls me “mama.” Goose and Bear always say “mommy.” No idea why.)
“Okay, Buddy, so what’s this?” I ask about the picture on the first page.
What followed was a story, partly told by his explanation of the pictures, and partly filled in by Goose and me, about aliens, astronauts, guinea pigs, and cobwebs. (Yes, cobwebs. Time for some spring cleaning, I guess.) And it ended… with flowers. Specifically, flower stickers sent by March of Dimes as envelope seals to guilt me in to donating more money to them. Forget it March of Dimes. I’ll give twice a year and that’s it. I don’t care how many address labels and envelope seals you send me. (Although, I’ll be needing another notepad for grocery lists soon, please!)
As I closed the book, I told him what a wonderful story it was and thanked him for sharing it with us. He was beaming.
“Did you really like it, mama?”
“I loved it, Buddy.”
“I missed a couple of pages. Can I fill them up tomorrow?”
“Of course, you can.”
“I love you, mama.”
“I love you, too.”