June 1, 2009


It's a beautiful day here in Virginia! The skies are blue, there's a nice cool breeze, and the air is not humid. A rare day, to be sure. After spending the morning sitting in the sun and reading a book, I figured I had better do something productive in the afternoon. So after I picked up Little Page from school, we headed over to our local nursery to buy some flowers and spent an hour or so in the backyard gardening. Little Page had fun "helping" me pot plants while Littlest Page played (or cried, it depended on the moment) in her pack-n-play.

When we headed inside for naptime, I tried to find an appropriately-themed book. Amazingly, among all of our children's books, there isn't one that has to do with gardening. To be honest, I hate to garden, so I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. I let Little Page choose whatever book she liked (which I'll highlight another day) and I put her to bed.

So instead of featuring a gardening book today, I thought I would mention A Child's Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson. A dear lady gave me this book when I was pregnant with Little Page. She has since passed, and I cherish the copy along with the note she wrote:
This is not a "first" book. It is, however, a "forever" book. Your child will pick it up or you may share it at precious little unplanned moments. Then, much later - many years later, you can appreciate the final verses "To Any Reader" on p. 116.

With love, Margaret

The last verse of the poem on p. 116 goes: "For, long ago, the truth to say,/He has grown up and gone away,/And it is but a child of air/That lingers in the garden there." Every time I read those lines, I want to cry. I remember once again how precious these few years of childhood are and how honored I am to be the one to give them to my little girls.

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