Are You My (sobbing) Mother?

My beautiful stepdaughter is having a baby. My stepdaughter is my first child, and she’s my daughter’s rock star sister/second mom/BFF. Here come the full circles. Get out a tissue.

Not long ago, we emailed about books and the stories my daughter used to love. Books we read over and over and over when my daughter clapped and shouted again! again! This phrase became one of those family sayings. Want a second cookie? again! again! Plan to see that movie a second time? again! again!

I promised to go through those books and send some favorites to the new baby.

Could be titled, One Fish Two Fish Oh How I Wish It Wasn’t So Long

I found them in a moving box and spent a few hours minutes looking at them, feeling their worn covers, remembering those snuggles on the sofa, thinking about the smell of dried milk on her face and her sweaty toddler hair. Soon I was weeping sniffling.

Here are my daughter’s old favorites.

  • Where is the Green Sheep? Mem Fox. My daughter was always delighted and, unbelievably, surprised when we found the green sheep on the last page, fast asleep. A great counting and color book, too. (Mem’s Harriet, You’ll Drive Me Wild was another favorite.)
  • Hippos Go Berserk! Sandra Boynton. A counting and giggling book.
  • Anything Seuss. Are You My Mother? (The book I imposed on my daughter whether she liked it or not, fortunately she did.),  One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, a dreadfully long, page-skipper silly book. Hop on Pop taught my daughter to read.
  • When I Was Little. Jamie Lee Curtis. Yup, a celebrity book. Celebrity books make writers grimace curious because we wonder what’s wrong with pretending to be interesting characters for millions of dollars? Why do you have to pretend to be a writer, too? Curtis, however, is clever. Kids don’t care that she made “Christmas with the Kranks.”
  • Goodnight Moon. The world’s most annoying cherished classic.
  • The Best Pet of AllDavid LaRochelle. We still crack up about a dragon eating spaghetti in the bathtub.
  • Curious George. One book? Charming. The whole collection? Tedious. Even more charming.
  • Going on a Bear Hunt. The book’s wisdom: You can’t go over it. You can’t go under it. You’ve got to go through it. My daughter’s favorite lines. My divorce mantra.

So many others. I’d love to write more. again! again! But not today. It’s an impressive list. Thanks to all those incredible writers. You made our favorite memories.

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