I found them in a bookstore, these treasures of my childhood. They will soon be my children’s treasures, too, I hope. I will read these to them when I get home tomorrow.
They remind me of my parents. I feel them reading to me. Cuddled in their laps or laying on the bed, watching my dad’s blue eyes flit from word to word or my mom’s mouth animating the phrases. The comfort of their closeness and the beauty of their language translated through the poignancy of these works compel me to pick them up. My fingers recognize my childhood when I touch the paperboard covers. Without opening the books I remember the sequence of events, even the images that convey the emotions of the careworn rabbit and the indefatigable engine.
Inside the covers of The Little Engine That Could was an inscription:
to Chris Westphal
I miss my dad.