Part of me is content with our preschooler’s current home library (I’m referring not to a digital library, but the kind housing the real things–colors, textures, scents, sounds of pages turning, imagine it) and I can be heard gleefully spouting bits like, “I heart Amos McGee and I’m so glad he does, too!”—and, yet, another part of me rudely quips, “Is it time for Tin Tin?”
No! It’s not time for Tin Tin and I try and make it a point not to ask such questions because on more than one occasion I have plucked ‘bigger boy’ items from his dresser drawers and wondered, Can he wear this really cool hoodie/track pants set yet? and then, suddenly, he fits into the stupid clothing and I am shocked and baffled as to how he’s gotten so tall right under my nose—as if he sprouted while I was making dinner or aged a year while I checked email—and, on these occasions, I freak, sobbing over adorable baby pictures while knocking back espresso, eventually curling in the fetal position in closets, willing the world to slow down, terrified that when I pick him up from preschool he will be 18 and demanding the minivan keys in a deep, throaty voice instead of climbing into his carseat and chirping for his sippy cup and baby bear…
When the truth is, I want to read Tin Tin again and really, way-too-desperately want my son to enjoy the quirky adventures and I want to see him enjoying the same fun-tension and excitement his mother experienced, because when it comes to books in our home libraries it’s all about ME ME ME.
Riiiiight. Step back Transference-Of-Childhood-Onto-Own-Child mother.
Listen up, lady: He may not like Tin Tin (impossible to believe), or Narnia (no way), or Pullman (incomprehensible), or Five Children And IT (not a chance in Hades), or any books you like—but waiiiiiit, calm down, step away from the espresso machine and get your foot out of the (messy) closet. So far, you’ve got lots more books in common than just Amos McGee (including ocean books—further proof he is on his way, at 4 years old, to being the next Jacques Cousteau—er, I mean to being whatever floats his—boat-equipped-with-scuba-gear-and-mini-sub) and, best of all, he appears to love his library at home and his library at school. And you know he’s going to bring home books you’ve never heard of and how exciting for you to watch his own personal canon develop! All too soon, PB. All too soon.
We’re off to a wonderful start.