When my sister announced her pregnancy, I was over the moon to become an aunt. I immediately knew I was going to share my love of books with my future nephew. I was going to instill in him the love of reading that I had my entire life. Fortunately, I had all the materials at my disposal.
Deep within my mom’s garage were boxes filled with the tools I used to become the bibliophile I am today. Among all the Christmas decorations and toys that lost their luster, I came across a familiar box. Written in my Grandma’s handwriting, it said, “Tracy’s Books.” I traced my finger over the words, picking up the dust that had settled from the years of neglect. Inside contained my mom’s first books, which happened to be the first books I ever read myself.
Situated next to that box was one that read “Kaileigh’s Books” in my mom’s huge blocked letter handwriting. I pulled it down and peered inside, remembering all the different books that I had read. I picked up a book that I did not recognize from the cover. Upon flipping through the pages, my eyes landed on a word that was at the center of my childhood.
I loved having my mom read to me as a child. It was a great way for us to bond and created special moments. Except that one moment was almost ruined when I caught my own mom in a lie.
This particular book I was holding was about this town that had a “robber” come. He had just left another town that he had “robbed” and he was trying to find the best house to “rob.” Except that “robber” does not start with a “b” like it was printed in my book.
“Mom, ‘robber’ starts with a ‘rrrr’ sound! But that word,” I exclaimed, pointing to the page, “begins with the letter ‘B.’ Do you not know how to sound out words?”
Laughter came from down the hall where my Grandma was doing laundry. My mom’s brow furrowed.
“It means the same thing,” my mom explained and quickly tried to get back to reading.
“No. Call Grandma in here. We need help figuring this one out,” I ordered.
“Burglar!” my Grandma yelled from down the hall. “The book is about a burglar!”
My mom sat fuming and still refused to say the word.
“Sound it out, mom,” I goaded. “Burrg-lerr.” I felt pleased. She continued the story with “robber.” “If you’re not going to do it right, then let’s pick another book!”
But she mustered through and at least waited until I was asleep to hide the book.
Her attempt to hide this book and remove it from family history was in vain since I suddenly had it back in my hands. I put it under my arm and triumphantly walked back into the house. My mom was sitting at the table, deep in thought over her iPad, presumably searching baby clothes. I threw the book on the table.
“Hey Mom, you should read this to the baby.”