Thursday, September 9, 2010
A Birthday Tradition
Being the book lover and collector that I am, I was buying children’s books and stashing them away before I even started my family. While I was pregnant with my first child, I decided I would start a tradition of a special book gift for each birthday. My recent discovery of Your Birthday Book added another tradition, but that’s another post. So far, each book I’ve selected has been a picture book about being a special and loved part of the family. Their primary developmental quality might be that they instill a sense of emotional security, but that’s not why I buy them. I buy them because they touch my heart. I’m not sure whether I’ll continue to choose picture books as the boys get older, or if I’ll find age-appropriate books and novels that speak to their talents or personalities. What I know is that when they become adults, I’ll have a library of love to give to them.
It’s a Milestone Month
I’ve already written about B starting preschool this month. September is also T’s birthday month. My youngest had his first birthday this week, and it is at once joyous and bittersweet. We love birthdays, and the 1st is especially exciting, but it also makes me reflect on how fast T is growing and how much he has changed in this short time. It makes me realize how much B has grown in the last year as well, to become a caring, helpful, and attentive big brother. It reminds me to soak up the mundane day-to-day moments before they disappear. With both B and T, their 1st birthday prompted memories of “last year at this time…” from my husband and I. We think about what life was like before they arrived, and how very blessed we are that they were added to it. The book that expresses this feeling best for me is Marion Dane Bauer’s Love Song for a Baby. It was the first of the birthday books for both of my boys. It is narrated by a parental voice speaking to a child, “Come hear a song about a baby… Come hear a song about you.” The narrator begins by describing the love the parents felt “before the sun ever kissed you.” Each page is a snapshot of a memory, from pregnancy through infancy and toddlerhood; memories of round cheeks, clapping hands, and burps that were “bells” are illustrated with soft pastel oils. And on each page the narrator affirms, we loved you. Reading this with my sons or on my own warms my heart, stirs my memory, and kindles both nostalgia and pride. Share it with a child you love – you won’t be sorry.
Appropriate for: babies, toddlers, moms, dads, everyone.
Do you have a favorite “I love you” book? Please share it in the comments – I’m always on the look-out for next birthday’s gift!
Link up your book recommendations for the week below, and visit the other links to get some great ideas!