Friday, April 13, 2012

A New Heart-Book

The boys and I stopped by the library today on a whim. It had been a while. It's been a while since I've engaged in much other than nursing, changing diapers, and surviving. But life begins again, and with it, the true necessities begin to take their rightful place. True necessities like books.

Little Man was jonesing for a Bob the Builder book. My disappointment in his literary acumen is unparalleled. You know, you try and try to provide your children with the finest things in life, and then you find them joyously rolling around in the pig sty of Bob the Builder. I allowed him one Bob book (against my better judgement), and then picked out four others that I would actually enjoy reading to him. And yes, I did have a great time reading Dr. Seuss's There's a Wocket in my Pocket. Except that now I'm just waiting for a Bofa to show up on my sofa (or a Zower in my shower, for that matter). My favourite pick though, happened to be If You Listen by Charlotte Zolotow. And, incredibly enough, Little Man miraculously (and thankfully) prefers it over the inane Bob the Builder book he brought home. The lucky truth is that I almost left without the Zolotow book. I already had four books for L.M., and was heading out the door when it caught my eye, and I grabbed it without really paying attention to what it was about.

When we got home, L.M. poked through the stack of books while Tiny (yes, that's what I've decided to dub the baby for this blog's use) napped and I did a quick clean of the bathrooms. Then we sat down to read. And L.M. immediately picked up If You Listen for the simple reason that it had a train on the back cover, and he's a little obsessed right now. And so we began. The timing of this book couldn't have been more fortuitous. It's about a little girl asking her mother how she knows her father loves her when he has been gone for a long time and she can't hear his voice or feel his hugs or see his face. The mother responds by telling her that it's a type of listening, the way you listen for a far away sound when you can't see the source of origin (it's much more poetic in the book). So L.M. is sitting there looking for trains in the book, and I'm just feeling the unconscionable need to tear up as my mind is racing ahead to the deployment when Big Man will be gone for long months and I will be left telling my own children how much Daddy loves them when they can neither see nor hear him. And then I noticed that in almost every illustration there was a picture of the father hidden. I have yet to go look through and see if he shows up on every page, but his outline was in the stars on one page and hidden in a cloud on another, and I just absolutely loved it! Somehow so did Little Man, which brings us to now.

Little Man requested a re-read before naptime, and I happily obliged him. I curled up with Tiny and L.M. on the toddler bed and read it while trying to find more Secretly Hidden Fathers, and then I grabbed the book to come out to blog about it. But L.M. wouldn't have it. He sobbed until I agreed to leave it on his dresser. Who'd have thought? Guess I picked a winner.


  1. This sounds like one you might need to own - and how gracious God was to just "drop it in your lap".....I see a great parallel to how He loves us, is always there, and is heard through a special kind of "listening". Loving it and you, and B.M., L.M., and Tiny. Auntie C

  2. I agree with Auntie and must say this blogpost made me smile. Am thankful for the loving mother my grandsons have and know the Lord will sustain you and strengthen you while Josh is gone. (I just can't call him BM.) ;-) And I know Josh's love will reach across the miles through his prayers. Love you!

  3. might just be one of the sweetest blog posts i've ever read of yours, dear marian. love you. -stacey