One of the things that I really loved about my childhood was story time.
My parents read to my brothers and me every single day of our lives until we left home. I developed a deep love for stories, reading and writing at a pretty young age. I was eager to learn to read because I wanted read by myself and not have to wait until Mom or Dad had time to sit down with us.
We read all kinds of books, from Winnie The Pooh to Dan Frontier to Billy and Blaze. We read Beatrix Potter, Virginia Lee Burton and Eric Carle. As we grew older, we read chapter books, like Anne of Green Gables, the Little Britches series, and Little House on the Prairie. We also read the books (fiction, historical novels and biographies) published by Bob Jones University Press. We never, ever read Curious George, Dr. Seuss or Clifford. Ok, so it wasn’t never. It was just really rare. Curious George was “Naughty George” and Dr. Seuss encouraged kids to eat rotten (green) eggs. And Clifford was just too unreal. Who really has a dog bigger than a house?
When I was 3, my two favorite books were a Little Golden Book called “The New Baby” and a…. yellow book (but NOT a Little Golden Book) called “go and hush the baby” by Betsy Byars. Yes, the title is capitalized like that. And yes, at the age of 3, I absolutely adored babies.
For my 3rd birthday, my parents gave me my very own copy of “go and hush the baby.” Today, it’s literally tattered, and I pretty much still have it memorized. (My friend doesn’t allow me to read it to her daughter because the mom in the story, according to my friend, deserves the Bad Mom of the Year award. But that’s neither here nor there. I still loved the book when I was a wee little lassie.)
I have no idea what went on in my life when I was 3. The only pictures I have of that time of my life were from my birthday (with that awesome new book!), a picture of me blow drying my hair (this is the only time in my entire life that my hair has been blow dried), and a picture of me with my Christmas presents.
For Christmas that year, my aunt gave me a red sweater with my name stitched on it. How many 3-year-olds have a personalized sweater? I felt pretty special! My great-grandma gave me a mini trunk/chest thing to keep “my stuff” in. (If I remember right, she hired someone to build it.) And, my grandma gave me a life-sized baby doll. Oh, how I loved that baby! I remember later in the day, after opening all those super gifts, after everybody else had dispersed to watch PeeWee Herman or take a nap (I had given up naps after that bad experience where I went to take a nap and woke up down a grandparent), my mom picked me up and sat me on her lap and asked me what I was going to name my baby. We had quite a discussion about this. I couldn’t for the life of me remember the name of a character in one of my favorite books, but I told my mom I wanted to give her the same name as the girl in that story about shoes. (I have no idea what book that was!!!) I remember loving a story about a girl named Emma. But the first story character that was one of my favorites that my mom suggested was Rebekah — and Rebekah became my new baby’s name.
I still have that dolly. She still naps on the bed in my mom’s spare room.