Thursday, November 12, 2009

More, more, more... Happy Birthday!

When she was a baby, our oldest daughter loved Vera Williams' More, More, More Said the Baby.  And today she's turning 19...
     I remember reading Williams' text with it's musical rhythms and repetition; the perfect text to encourage language development and love of words.  She'd want to hear the book over and over... and all these years later it still holds a special spot on our bookshelf.  I love the bond that is created between child, parent, and text when we take the time to read.  It's just joyful!
     And, now all these years later... she's doing more, more, more!  A college student settled into new learning and a new chapter in her life!
     I remember once we were sitting in the waiting room of an auto mechanic's shop, waiting for our car to be finished.  Our daughter must have been two or three years old.  Across from us sat a lovely elderly woman, completely dressed in purple and lavender.  Her floral blouse matched her pants and shoes and jewelry perfectly.  Her snow white hair was piled high on her head, forming loose curls held in place with shining hairpins.  On her lap, she held a pillow and a small white dog.  She, too, was waiting... and her dog caught our daughter's eye.  It was love at first sight! 
     We spent the next half hour in the waiting room.  I read to our daughter, she'd get up and wander over to pet the dog, then return to my lap for another read.  For a half hour, it was small talk, small pets, and small moments shared with a lovely woman we didn't know.  She fell in love with our daughter during that short time.  Her smiles were as bright as the hairpins in her hair. 
     She left first.  She gathered up her handbag, scarf, gloves, dog... but as she left the room, she turned for a moment and smiled at our daughter.  She walked over and touched her on her small cheek, looked her directly in the eye, and said softly, "Have a blessed life, Beloved."  And in a whisper she was gone.
     That's what it's like when our children grow... in just a whisper they've moved on to new adventures.  Out in the world, looking for more, more, more!  And we're left wishing they were little again!  
     So, as you turn 19, I hope you know how blessed our lives are because of you, Beloved!  Happy Birthday!
     Some of your other (19+) favorites: 
  • Wild Wild Sunflower Child Anna by Nancy White Carlstrom
  • Airmail to the Moon by Tom Birdseye
  • Any Madeline book by Ludwig Bemelmans
  • Baby Beluga by Ashley Wolff
  • Jillian Jiggs by Phoebe Gilmon
  • Sadie and the Snowman by Allen Morgan
  • Any Franklin book by Paulette Bourgeois
  • Big Sarah's Little Boots by Paulette Bourgeois
  • Each Peach Pear Plum by Janet and Allan Ahlberg
  • Amber on the Mountain by Tony Johnston
  • The Mitten by Jan Brett
  • Annie and the Wild Animals by Jan Brett
  • If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
  • Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney 
  • Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambault


  1. Now you have me weeping. Your post reminded me so much of story times with my girls, their favorite books and now--how quickly the time passes--my oldest is a teacher and sharing her love of literature with her students. Thanks for the walk down memory lane. Someday I want to be the elderly woman in your story. I think perhaps your daughter's life will be specially blessed because of her.

  2. Patrick,
    I'm all teary, too. My now 19-year-old and I also loved More, More, More. It is one of those special books that echoes, these many years later, so that I can hear again the beautiful rhythmic language about Little Guy, Little Pumpkin, and Little Bird. What a lovely birthday tribute.

  3. Patrick,
    I read your post with joy because I have a two year old and I love that she has her favorite books that we read, re-read, and read again. As a reading teacher and a book lover, it is a daily gift for me to see her pick the piles of books to read each day. Thanks for sharing your joy!