For years, I’ve saved a box of my favorite books for the daughter I might have someday. I brought them from home to Mankato, Minnesota, where I was hired as a reporter. I moved seven times in 20 years and lugged that box with me.
Now I have that daughter, and she loves reading. Several months ago, I searched the garage and found the box. Dust covered the books and, yes, there were a few mouse turds. So what? I gently wiped down the books with a damp cloth and gave her some of my favorites: The Dollhouse Caper, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, Little House in the Big Woods, Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great, Fudge and more. The pages are yellow, and some of them actually crack and dissolve if you’re not careful.
The stories didn’t dissolve with age. They’re just as wonderful. She’s a fan, even though she doesn’t understand some of the generational things. (Why don’t they watch a DVD? Can’t she call her mom with her cell phone?)
I’ve set part of the collection aside for a few years. She’s too young for books like Outsiders and Go Ask Alice. It won’t be long, though. It seems like we just read little board books about color and letters, books that she’d promptly put in her mouth for a good chew session.
Share your books. Share them with friends, with parents, with siblings, with the person who just moved across the street. Books build relationships and deepen friendships. They help daughters understand their mothers – and mothers understand their daughters.