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P1020471abby on books

He leans against me as I open the pages of The Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder and I begin to read,
Once upon a time, sixty years ago, a little girl lived in the Big Woods of Wisconsin, in a little gray house made of logs.”

As I read I think to myself that this is the last time. It’s the last time I will begin this book series for the first time with one of our children.

I opened the pages of this book and read the entire series to his eldest sister, Lorna, when she was five. She is twenty-seven now.

I read the books to his eldest brother Phillip who is now twenty-five.

I read them to his sisters, Rosie and Hannah, and his brothers, Kealen and Noah.

Along came Abby (pictured above) and she determinedly said she would read them herself and the pattern was broken.

In the midst of Speech and Debate tournaments and Spanish and Greek classes for the teens, I savor this one last opportunity to begin, again; to be the introducer of certain books to this last child of ours.

I know, “introducer” isn’t really a word, but it should be. Isn’t every mother an introducer?

I hope your child’s imagination is filled to the brim with wonderful words put there by you. It’s not too late to start.


I had a mother who read to me
Sagas of pirates who scoured the sea,
Cutlasses clenched in their yellow teeth,
“Blackbirds” stowed in the hold beneath.

I had a Mother who read me lays
Of ancient and gallant and golden days;
Stories of Marmion and Ivanhoe,
Which every boy has a right to know.

I had a Mother who read me tales
Of Gelert the hound of the hills of Wales,
True to his trust till his tragic death,
Faithfulness blent with his final breath.

I had a Mother who read me the things
That wholesome life to the boy heart brings–
Stories that stir with an upward touch,
Oh, that each mother of boys were such!

patrick with the map

You may have tangible wealth untold;
Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.
Richer than I you can never be–
I had a Mother who read to me.

~by Strickland Gillian

Pictures by our talented daughter Hannah