Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A Trick of Light

The fire is warm behind me as I'm typing at my makeshift desk in the dining room. I am blessed to be able to stay home during these few years that my son is little. I read about how little minds form so much in the first five years...and I know now how true that statement is. John is asleep again after his huge week with the grandparents. Well, right now, he's talking about the people in his life...Mommy, Daddy, Gaga's, Grandpa and Papa. We just finished Charlotte's Web before naptime and I remember that I wanted to share with you this very sweet book that my mom gave me for Christmas. Has anyone hear of The Little Big Books?

It's full of all the stories I remember, and more that I don't, from when I was a little girl. The illustrations are a beautiful collection. It has recipes like Baked Apples Stuffed with Granola and Frozen Chocolate Bananas. "Do Your Ears Hang Low?" and "I'm a Little Teapot" are a few of the finger games, and songs, stories, nursery rhymes and poetry fill the rest of the book. Thankfully I am in the midst of these treasured days that Robert Louis Stevenson writes about.
"You too, my mother,
read my rhymes
For love of unforgotten times,
And you may chance
to hear once more
The little feet along the floor."
~ Robert L. Stevenson

An abbreviated version of the best parts of Charlotte's Web was compiled by the editors are a few snips.
"I don't know what a magnum opus is, " said Wilbur.
"That's Latin, " explained Charlotte.
"It means 'great work.' This egg sac is my magnum opus, my great work - the finest thing I have ever made."
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
"Charlotte, " said Wilbur dreamily, "are you really going to have five hundred and fourteen children?"
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
"Welcome to the barn cellar. You have chosen a hallowed doorway from which to string your webs. I think it is only fair to tell you that I was devoted to your mother. I owe my very life to her. She was brilliant, beautiful and loyal to the end. I shall always treasure her memory. To you, her daughters, I pledge my friendship, forever and ever!"

Further along in the book is another Robert L. Stevenson quote..."The world is full of a number of things. I'm sure we should all be as happy as kings."

And, I'll part with an excerpt from Amy Herrick's essay on "Mortal Terrors and Motherhood." (Because the cynic in me is never silent for long."

She says, " You are forced to see, not only how heartrendingly fragile a child is, but also that your own childhood is over, that there is an inevitable time limit to all things. Yet, faced with this, do you throw your hands up in despair and sink down into lassitude and indifference?" (And, to that, I say, "YES! Some days!") "Certainly not, because here before you is that which you would jump into a burning building, or out of a speeding locomotive, for. Here, before you, by a trick of light upon the bathwater, is the little stroke of genius- the face, the sign, the map - to show you your next move, to lead you through the doors of your own mortal confines to where you will outlast yourself."


Anonymous said...

Would love to hear you reading to him. Sigh...

Q, La, and Gooner said...

He is blessed to have a mommy that can stay home and read to him!