Friday, November 13, 2009


A long day. Rainy. Grumbly. Out of sync and out of sorts. A petri dish for melancholy, discord. General yuck. Contagious. Looked forward to candlelight on the mantle and garlic bread that kept me coming back for more. Getting kids settled in bed, I wanted to check the time. The longest day. Had to be. Lanie came downstairs after brushing her teeth to say goodnight. She finds me in the office. She notices my books on the shelves.

"Do you have any kids books?" she asks. "Ones that kids can read?"

I handed her two: The Phantom Tollbooth and The Secret Horse (now out of print).

"I need three," she said.

I looked for more and found Someday by Alison McGhee. A quick and easy read, perfect for just before bed. Perfect end for the longest day.

"Would you like me to read it to you?" I asked. Would she let me? This reader who reads every library book to herself in morning stillness.

"Ok," she said and climbed into my lap. We admired the watercolor illustrations and I opened up the world.

"One day I counted your fingers and kissed each one," I began. Immediately, my eyes filled with tears and voice wavered. I didn't know how I could finish this book--this journey from baby to child and beyond. A mother's love simply breathed across a life. Always brings me to tears, but today was a first on page one. I forged on and paced myself, holding tears inside and taking an emotional step back.

As I closed the book, Lanie leaned closer to me and said quietly, "I love you, Mom."

"I love you, too," I said. And I kissed her head and rested my cheek on it.

"Please take me up to bed and tuck me in?"



FishMama said...

I've never read that book, but now you make me want to. Sweet story....

jodie said...

trying to type "great post" through blurry eyes.

Courtney said...

Thank you, both. Certainly a book to read with tissue in hand. Especially after a long day.