Last night I "read" Pancakes for Breakfast by Tomie De Paola to Mary before bed. I prefaced the story by telling Mary that this book had been Jenny's favorite when she was little. "Do you remember that?" I asked my almost seven year old. It was 3 or 4 years ago, but she remembered.
As Mary and I went through the story of the poor woman who has to work so hard for her pancake breakfast, Jenny listened from her bed and contributed words and commentary. Jenny and I had looked at this book so many times when she was a toddler, and I would say the same things each time. Her words quoted me from all those long past readings.
When we were done, Mary said, "Again," but I said no. I did say, though, that she could look through the pictures herself while she snuggled in my lap and we rocked in the chair in the dimly lit room. "But I can't read," sighed my little dramatist with flair learned from her older sisters.
"You don't need to read it, honey," I said. "There aren't any words anyway."
"No words?" asked Jenny.
"You mean it's a picture book?"
"Yes, honey," I said as gently as possible. These little growing-up moments are so precious to me.
One day, perhaps, Jenny will have a little girl of her own, and I will be sure she has a copy of this book. And I bet it will still be my words that she "reads" to her daughter.