When the Booger first came to live with me, I wanted to make sure that he developed a love for books. Sure, he was only 7-months-old when he first arrived on my doorstep, but in the year that he was with me he fell in love with "reading." He loved to sit and "weed" on his "poppy" (such a "man" thing to do...). I ended up keeping his library collection on a low shelf that he could reach so he could read any time he wanted to. He was very serious about taking good care of his books, and always put them back on the shelf after he was finished with them. (I'm not sure if that was good parenting on my part, or if it was just the OCD clean freak part of him taking over. To this day, he still loves to clean!)
Our bedtime routine always began with the Booger Bear picking out a couple of books for me to read to him (our "winding down" part of the evening). His selection usually varied, but there was one book in particular that never failed to make the reading list for the night. The short "board book" version of "Put Me in the Zoo..." J called it his "Out! Out!" book. Anytime someone would ask him if he wanted to read a book, he'd run to his bookshelf and exclaim, "Out! Out!"
"I will go into the zoo.
I want to see it.
Yes, I do!"
"We do not want you in the zoo.
Out, you go!
Out!!! Out, with you!!!"
When the Booger went to live with his daddy, I debated long and hard about whether or not to send the "Out! Out!" book home with him. It was one of those things that meant so much to me, but it was his favorite too, so of course I sent it with him. I can always buy another copy for myself.
Heaven, Booger, and Banana spent the day at my house yesterday along with my mom, Ka-Diva, and Buddy (different post on the day's events to follow). Booger was getting grouchy, so I had him go pick out some books for us to read. Heaven mentioned that he still loves to read, and that he always wants to read every book he owns before bedtime.
Then Heaven said something that made my heart practically leap out of my chest. "He has this favorite book that he always makes me read. It's about this thing and the zoo and it changes colors and stuff." It's been 13 months since the Booger Bear went to live with his daddy, and the "Out! Out!" book is still his favorite.