Thursday, June 7, 2012

Once Upon a Time...

Today my first born baby girl celebrates her 24th birthday. Happy Birthday Daughter1! I've written several birthday posts for her since I started blogging which you'll find here, here and here. Gosh I'm wordy.

Goodnight Moon...Brown Bear Brown Bear...The Tale of Two Bad Mice...Are You My Mother?

Since her birthday falls midweek this year and she has an honest to goodness grown up job, we won't get to see her on her big day. Boo. When your kids were young did it ever occur to you that you wouldn't always be with them on their birthdays? Me neither.

Moose in the Garden...Bread and Jam for Frances...Angelina Ballerina...Stellaluna

On the bright side, we did get to spend last weekend together. Besides all the fun we had picking crabs, zipping around the Bay, and sitting side by side at a bridal shower, we also squeezed in a celebratory birthday breakfast. Crepes and waffles and Eggs Benedict-oh my! We even managed to surprise her with our gift this year-a NOOK...

In spite of her great love for the latest technology and her lifelong love affair with books, Daughter1 has been slow to come round to the electronic reader. I get it, really I do, but I also know how much she'll enjoy it once she takes the plunge. She travels a lot (have you read her blog???) and she also commutes back and forth to work by train everyday. An e-reader makes sense and I've assured her there is room in our lives for both. Plus we're gonna be NOOK buddies now. Just as soon as she tells me how. Ha.

Chrysanthemum...The Littles...Beezus and Ramona...Charlotte's Web

I knew before I had children that I would read to them. I knew we would go to the library often and we'd have piles of books in every room of our house. Love for reading was a gift my mother gave me and I knew from an early age it was precious. Some of my happiest childhood memories are the hours I spent curled up on the couch beside my mom while she read aloud. I wanted that kind of memory for my own daughters too.

The BFG...Meet Molly...Snot Stew...The Best Christmas Pageant Ever...A Dog Called Kitty

My mom continued reading to my sister and I long past the age where we could read for ourselves. I did the same when I became a mom. My girls and I stepped into the pages of these stories hand in hand and they connect us still.

The books my mother read to me as I was growing up fed and watered my imagination. I learned to love words and appreciate the turn of a phrase as her voice brought characters and places to life. Good books are full of emotion and humor and contain a bit of something real. Reading them together bonds you in a way that is special. I probably couldn't articulate it back then but I knew I wanted my girls to feel about me the way I felt about my own mother, and I
knew that somehow reading together was an important ingredient in making that happen.

My girls are grown now but we still share a love of books and words and each other. Their imaginations have always been as big as the sky. I like to think the books of their childhood and the time we spent there together have something to do with that.

I've sprinkled some of Daughter1's favorite titles into her birthday post today, 24 to be exact. One for each candle on her cake.

The Borrowers...Anne of Green Gables...A Wrinkle in Time...Trumpet of the Swans

These titles leap out at me when I wander the aisles of a bookstore. Just a glimpse and I am whisked right back to a comfy couch and the feel of a little girls head on my shoulder as she snuggled in close.

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe...My Side of the Mountain..Where the Red Fern Grows

If you have time today, hop over to Daughter1's blog (Sincerely-Shannon) and wish her a happy birthday. While you're there, share the title of your favorite book...after all, she's got a NOOK to load. I love you Daughter1!

"Happy is he who has laid up in his youth, and held fast in all fortune, a genuine and passionate love of reading." Rufus Choate


  1. Awww, how sweet!! Happy Birthday, D1!

  2. A lovely tribute to a wonderful daughter. She will love her e-reader - they are so convenient.

  3. I tried to be intentional about reading too,they are some of my very favorite mama moments.
    Very sweet, Happy Birthday Daughter 1!

  4. oh Happy Birthday to your daughter! I will hop over and wish her a happy one. I love the picture of her reading in the water. That would be me.
    Love you with the darker hair!!

  5. We have children who share the same birthday, but mine is 25 today. Happy Birthday to your daughter!
    I love your book themed post. My love of reading didn't really pass to the birthday boy (despite my best effort)... he would rather study the golf course! Interesting to think about nature vs. nurture when it comes to reading.

  6. Oh how my heart swelled with emotion reading your post. It brought back a rush of memories of reading to my own daughter so many moons ago. Some of those very titles. She too has a love for reading. Thank you for sharing. Blessings, SusanD

  7. One of the greatest gifts we mamas can give our children is the love of reading. I'm so thankful that my mom gave me that gift and that I gave it to my daughter, who's giving it to her little ones.

    Happy birthday, Daughter1!

  8. I love the flow of this post. Daughter 1 and her books and all the pictures. My cousin was like this and still if. Always a book or a reader in her hand!
    Happy Birthday, Daughter 1!

  9. What a sweet post today about your daughter. They grow up so fast!Before you know it, they are reading to their own kids.

  10. Aww, happy birthday to your sweet daughter. And, yes, I read many of the same books with my daughters.

  11. This is a beautiful post....One of my favorite Children's books is Wrinkle in Time, although I was an adult when I read it the first time.....I could have written a post like this about passing on the love of reading but I'm amazed you captured so many photos of her reading...My daughter and I both have Kindles. A couple of months back we swapped our kindles and now I'm reading her books. We always swap our paper books so its natural to do the same with the ebooks. We found that easier than sharing the ebooks and letting them be put on our kindle because we can choose the one we want to read next. I had 42 books on mine so its taken a while for her to get through them and although she didn't have quite that many and I've read a few paper books while I've had her kindle, we haven't swapped back yet...
    Happy Birthday,fellow reader.
    Mama Bear

  12. Happy birthday to your daughter! How wonderful that you've passed along your love of reading. Best gift ever!

  13. Thank you so much for such a sweet post and thank you so much for reading to me and giving me that awesome love for books! I still love all those listed and can't wait to read them to my own children some day! I'm excited to get some good recommendations for my new nook!

  14. Good Morning,
    Happy Birthday to your sweet daughter. You're right...never imagined that we might not be with our daughters on their birthday...and now, I guess it never happens. It's hard to explain that feeling that is happy and sad all at the same time! Mostly happy tho'

    I'm going to have to head over and visit her blog...thanks for the link.

    Have a thankful Thursday ~Natalie

  15. Happy Birthday to your sweet D1! I'm sure she will embrace the reader they are a techi generation and the commute will agree with it. I wish my daughter loved reading as much as I do...but when I was her age i didn't love it either...some day!

  16. We have three who read like that. You won't ever see them without a book- and Birdie usually has 3 going at the same time. She just keeps them in different rooms. And then there's the one in her car. LOL She's the one who will be 24 in October.

    A very happy birthday to your lovely! I hope her day is fabulous! I'm going over to her blog and leave wishes there too!

  17. This is so sweet. I love all the book titles... And that picture of her standing in the ocean reading is priceless!

    We haven't been able to spend Miss K.A.'s birthday with her since she's been in college. Another one of those things I've 'gotten over' :/

    Son #1 will be 24 this summer. Yikes. And he tells me he's not coming home for the weekend. Yep...getting over it. :)

  18. such a sweet post! happy birthday to your beautiful, well-read, daughter! ;)

  19. A lovely post :) I was just making a list for summer reading with my girl...I might steal a few titles from you!
    And I just finished Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand.
    An incredible story.

  20. Misty-eyed here! So sweet! My mother, too, read to my brother and I long after we could read for ourselves. I carried on the tradition for the same reasons you so eloquently mentioned.

    I forgot about Bread and Jam for Francis. Where could that book be, I wonder? It will get read here in the near future.

    BTW, Joyce, if you're going to make a collection for future grandbabies, I highly recommend Miss Fannie's Hat by Jan Karon. When you're in the bookstore see if they've got it. You'll fall in love! (It's a young children's book.)

    Off to visit Shannon and wish her a happy b-day!

  21. Happy 24th Birthday daughter1. I guess it's about every six years or so that we actually get to be together on their day. Looks like you had a fun celebration breakfast. Love all the photos.

  22. As a fellow mom who read to her children and as a reading teacher, your post made me smile. Happy Birthday to your girl and kudos to you for a job well done!

  23. Wishing your beautiful girl a very Happy Birthday! You have such a gift for the written word, Joyce!

  24. What a lovely post for a lovely girl. I so enjoy reading her blog and it's just confirmation that the "apple doesn't fall far from the tree."

    My little 3 1/2 year old Grandson knows Brown Bear Brown Bear by memory. It is so cute when he recites it. He recites while he's turning the pages, acting like he's reading it.


  25. What a fun birthday post. I love many of those choices too.

  26. Happy bday to your sweet girl! A mom who reads to her children gives those kids a wonderful heritage. Beautiful post.

  27. What a great birthday tribute. The love of reading...never underestimate it's power. And the 24 book titles? Priceless!

  28. What a beautiful post as I wipe tears. Time does fly! My baby will be 30 this year. I read to her all the time also and she does read to Eden Jade, but as far as her reading herself she does not like to...and I have to admit it saddens this momma! Maybe one day!
    until next time... nel