What My Heart Found On Valentine’s Day: Marianne Richmond’s Children’s Books
Yesterday, I wanted to start a new holiday tradition with my kids. I got up and made them cinnamon rolls in the waffle maker. This is what Pinterest will do for you, folks. It totally inspires me to try new things and I am a huge rut follower. You know, stick with what I know. I bought the frozen cinnamon rolls in a bag and defrosted them overnight so they were bigger than what you would get from the canned rolls. This is a big deal because my kids are old enough to forage breakfast for themselves, as I am usually rolling out of bed about this time. Or, ahem…shortly after. I wish I was the kind of mom that loved to get up an hour earlier than the rest of the house and whip up a fantastic meal. But I am not. I am a night owl. I am usually cranking out a blog post, or working on an article, or reading under the covers with my iPhone flashlight app, or digging through Pinterest. So until that stops, kids are on their own in the morning. Fine, you now know my ONE fault. My point: when I am downstairs making breakfast, they know it’s a big deal.
I also wanted to start giving books on special occasions. Amy Davis, my parenting workshop leader, inspired me to do this. She gives a book to her kids on a holiday and she writes a special message in it. I thought how wonderful to commemorate a special day and to make your kids feel special. So I am copying her.
On Monday, I went to Target for all of my Valentine’s supplies and the books I found were so perfect that is was almost spooky. Since I decided to shop the day before Valentine’s Day, the end shelves were pretty much void of any heart gushing books. Then I glanced to the left, I saw the children’s hardcover books all lined up. It was going to have to do. At a quick glance, the old standards were there and my kids had many of them. I needed something new with love as the theme and that each of my kids, who range from six to twelve years old, could relate to.
But author Marianne Richmond came through. I had never seen her books before and I found three right away that stole my heart. And the crazy thing is, each one of her books pertained to the relationship I had with each child at this exact moment in time.
The one I chose for my daughter, who is twelve and is in her first year at middle school, is I Believe In You. It speaks from the mother’s point of view and talks about bravery, confidence, achieving goals, dealing with failure, struggling to fit in, etc. It was perfect. It’s all the things you want to cheer from the sidelines of their life.
The next book, I Love You So…, was for my oldest son. He is a middle child through and through. The mother tells the son all the ways she loves him and how much, even when he does naughty things. I read this in the kitchen with him after school since we didn’t have time before. I couldn’t get through the last couple of pages because of my tears. Our relationship is a tough one because we butt heads quite often and I always feel that he thinks I don’t love him as much as the others. He tends to be in trouble more and doesn’t always understand that love is unconditional. This book was perfect for us. I can’t wait to read it again with him snuggled in his bed and hold him tight.
The last book, If I Could Keep You Little, was for my last little guy who is six. I tell him all the time, “No more growing up! Stay six forever.” He is a snuggler, a firecracker, funny as hell, smart as a whip, and the coolest six-year-old I know. I would freeze him right now if I could. So this book was absolutely perfect. The last line is great, the mother says, “If I could keep you little, I’d keep you close to me. But then I’d miss you growing up into who you’re meant to be!”
Talk about rip your heart out. I love, love, love each of the stories and how they relate to each of my children so perfectly right now.
I wrote in each of their books a little message with the date. I want them to look back and remember this time in their lives. Perhaps a little note from Mama will make that moment stand out just a little more.
Marianne Richmond resides in Minneapolis-yay for the Midwest! Her story is inspiring and it just goes to show that you gotta do what you love. And not only does she just write the stories, she illustrates them. What a creative soul! I highly recommend her books for you and your children. (They should come with a little hanky.)
I hope your Valentine’s Day gave your heart a little pitter patter as well. Love is lovely, isn’t it?