Passing Down the (Literary) Torch

I took Noah to Barnes & Noble yesterday — a somewhat regular thing, where we read and browse and play. (Their play train section is always a big meet-up of toddlers.)

But before we left, he wanted to go into the baby book section. He wanted to find a certain book for his cousin/”brother” Benjamin — and I stood back as I watched his eyes scan the shelves, his tiny finger running across the bindings.

And then he found it and pulled it out, and my heart swelled.

It was his first favorite book — B is for Bear by Roger Priddy. We read this book so often during his first year that we had to go out and buy a new one around the 6-month mark — because it literally fell apart.

He plopped right down in the middle of the aisle and opened the book — touching each sensory page, as if his hands remembered something that his brain didn’t. The fuzzy duck (“D is for ducklings covered in down”), the soft dog (“Q is for quiet as the tired puppy sleeps”), the shiny robot (“R is for robot who walks talks and beeps”), etc.

How could he remember?

Without a word, he handed the book to me and we walked down to the register.

Now he reads to his cousin (brother) the same way we used to read to him — pointing to the pictures, making the animal sounds, teaching his lessons.

And my heart hasn’t stopped swelling.

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