Sunday, April 18, 2010

A Gift that Lasts a Lifetime

Last week I spent the time in two schools in Arlington Heights, Illinois with Mr. Bufo-Bufo and TOADS. The librarians, teachers, and children I met were great people—just like all of us in Northern Wisconsin! It was interesting to be around young teachers, some of whom were expecting their first child. At one point I was listening to a conversation about a baby shower. The women were talking about a theme for the shower.

One of my favorite memories is a baby shower here in Ladysmith where the invitation suggested gifts of books for the new baby’s library. Guests were asked to buy books in lieu of the traditional baby clothes and baby furniture. At the shower, we each took a turn to read our favorite book to the other women and sign the book to the baby. After the shower, I thought about what we had collectively given to this new baby and the lasting important effect of our gifts.

Clothing and baby furniture are very nice gifts for a family. We all like the pretty little outfits and we hope the baby furniture will help the parents with caring for the baby. This is all true; all these gifts do help.

Consider for a moment what it means for a child to have a small library of books. When children have books in their home and parents read these books, the children will grow to love reading. The love of reading is a gift that lasts a lifetime and impacts children long, long after the clothes have been worn out or given away. The world opens up and the possibilities are endless for children who love to read.

A while ago I toured a home that was to be auctioned. The furniture and other household goods were boxed up, ready to sell and a few were labeled ‘not for sale.’ One box caught my eye with a note stating, “DO NOT SELL!!!” It was a box of children’s books and I couldn’t help but pick one up. I opened the cover of the 60 year old treasure. It was inscribed to a child,“With love to our new little grandbaby, Hugs and kisses, Grandma and Grandpa.”

Are you invited to a baby shower this spring? Consider giving a book, a gift that lasts a lifetime.

Toad House Publishing

Twinkletime Rhymes to Print

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