A guest post by Sarah Ann Noel.
When I was little, nothing beat the thrill of taking my designated “library bag” to the library and filling it with books to take home.
Okay. The only thing that beat the thrill of that was getting a book in the mail or for my birthday or at a bookshop and knowing it was mine, not only to read, but to keep and love and display for all to see—that is, anyone who happened to notice the bookshelf in my room.
Needless to say, I’ve been enamored with books and stories for more than a quarter of a century, and I can recall so many favorite childhood memories just by smelling a library book or running my fingers over the cover and binding of an old classic.
I guess it was inevitable that I would try to force books on my baby once I became a mom. Before the nursery was finished, I was already lining the top of Iris’ dresser with copies of my favorite toddler books and even some from my own personal collection. I made sure we were well-stocked with kiddie picks like If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and The Very Hungry Caterpillar and There’s a Monster at the End of This Book and Good Night Moon. I was so thrilled to unpack my childhood version of The Big Hungry Bear after my parents’ move, knowing that Iris would love the bright pictures (and hopefully one day cherish that it had once belonged to her mama). And while I don’t want her to grow up too fast or anything, I’m beyond excited for the coming days when bedtimes will be preceded by chapters from The Chronicles of Narnia or Peter Pan. Every child should have a chance to dream the dreams that can only come from hearing bedtime stories as imaginative as those.
And to be a good mom, I know that I need to allow her to come into a love a books on her own. I’ve tried to show them to her, guide them into her routine, and make them as available as possible to her. But at 17-months-old, I can hardly expect her to want to sit still for long and listen to a story.
But when I woke up this morning and made my way out to the living room, I found Iris and her daddy already up, making breakfast, and doing this:
More than enough to warm my heart and reenergize my enthusiasm for the stories in our future.
Sarah Ann Noel is a freelance creative and public relations writer in Denver, Colorado. She is currently working on her first book, a collection of narrative non-fiction chronicling the transition from childhood to adulthood and all it entails–from career paths to pregnancy and marriage. She also runs the Reverie blog, a lifestyle and motherhood blog.