A recycled book

My mom is an avid reader and always has been.  She did her best to pass her love of reading along to my older brother and me.  In fact, she has told me that the day she brought me home from the hospital she held my 3-1/2-year-old brother and me on her lap reading a book.  She never stopped reading to us.  I can remember family trips where she’d read aloud in the car.  We especially loved Judy Blume’s “Superfudge” series.  I can even remember being a high school student on vacation with my parents and my mom reading things she found interesting out loud in the car to us.

And so it makes sense that my parents would have some books still on their bookcase from when I was a kiddo.  They now share them with their grandchildren.  Three of the five grandkids are really drawn to books, and my daughter is among them.  She has loved books from the beginning.  As a writer and avid reader myself, that thrills me.

This Mickey Mouse book from my own childhood has become a favorite of my daughter's.

A few weeks ago, Lexiana came home from my parents’ house with an old book in tow titled “Mickey Mouse’s Picnic.”  The book cover says it was 59-cents when new.  The inside says it was in its 22nd printing in 1978 — a year before even I was born!  However, it’s still in decent shape.  And my daughter has fallen completely in love with this book.  She loves Mickey Mouse.  She loves his friends.  This book includes the entire gang, minus Pete.  It has Mickey, Minnie, Daisy, Clarabelle, Goofy, Pluto and Donald.  It has some old references, like Minnie Mouse fastening a knife to the bottom of her cake pan with “paper tape.”  But, it’s a classic that my child 100 percent loves.  I’ve read it to her more times than I can count.  Some days, we have read it probably five times.  I make sure to know where the book is at all times because she asks for it by name.  And the book isn’t allowed to travel anywhere with us.  I don’t want to risk either messing it up or losing it.

I try to imagine my parents when they first purchased the book.  If it was actually in 1978, then chances are my brother was just a bit older than my child and my mom was pregnant with me.  They were younger than they are now, obviously.  I know that nowhere in their heads was the thought that this book might one day be the favorite of a red-headed, curly-haired grandchild of theirs.  When I buy things for Lexiana now, I never think of her passing them on to her own kids.  It’s beyond what I can imagine at this stage in life.  And I’m still working so hard at enjoying the present.

To me, I feel a special bond with my child with this book.  I don’t remember it from childhood.  It wasn’t one of my favorites.  My parents have other books I do remember like “The Backwards Picnic” and Molly’s trip to the zoo with her father (I can’t remember the actual title).  My daughter enjoys those books while she’s at their house, but “Mickey Mouse’s Picnic” has won her heart completely.

Our book has been recycled to a second generation.  I like it.  I like that thought.  And I like that my mom’s love of reading is passing down yet again.  If it wasn’t for her reading books like this to me as a kiddo, I might not have discovered the joy of the written word — both reading and writing.  And I can’t imagine my life without either.  I hope Lexiana feels the same one of these days as well.

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