I have a cardboard box full of children's books that I keep upstairs in the junk room. Most of them were bought at garage sales, although some (like the one above) were marked-down bargains at book stores. I've had many of them since my nineteen-year-old grandson was a toddler. An old Uncle Wiggly book, for instance, which has outdated phrases and language... but which Arick seemed to thoroughly enjoy, anyhow.
That book in the picture is a fun version of the three little pigs, and all the grandchildren have loved it... with the exception of Amber, who really never enjoyed having stories read to her. At age three, she preferred to be in the floor playing with Barbie and Ken ("Kim" she called him) rather than sitting and listening to someone reading a book.
Saturday evening, nine-year-old Monica asked where I'd put the box of books, and I directed her to the "junk room". She toted the boxful of books down the stairs and started looking through them. First she looked for the "Spot" books, all of which she and her sister had memorized by age three: they have flaps you can lift up and read beneath, and kids love them.
Then she found "The Three Little Pigs", and was overjoyed. "Grandma," she said excitedly, "remember when you used to read this and act like the people?"
"You mean when I did the voices?" I responded, from the kitchen.
A brief pause, and then...
"Would you read it like that now?"
I was in the middle of cooking, and first I told her I was busy. Then I thought about the enthusiasm in her voice and found a stopping-place in my work. I went in the living room, sat on the couch between Monica and Natalie, and read, once again, the story all my grandchildren have loved: I cryed for Mama pig when her three children went out to seek their fortune, and I growled for the wolf as he huffed and puffed.
Cliff was watching the girls' faces; he said their expressions were priceless.
I guess even children miss the "good old days" sometimes.
I like to think that when I'm long gone, my adult granddaughters will reminisce about the old days of their childhood, and one will say, "Remember when Grandma used to read "Three Little Pigs" and do the funny voices?"