…and then what happened?
Amid a table of dirty dishes, crumpled gift wrap, and stop-and-go conversations, our three-year-old twin grandchildren began getting restless. It was past naptime, they were in a setting unfamiliar to themâ€”Norman Quackâ€™s restaurant in Forest Lake, MNâ€”and half-eaten chocolate chip cookies left chocolate tracks on their hands and faces. Mmmm.
Theo had just unwrapped The Cookie Garden, a childrenâ€™s book by Linda Henry (thecookiegarden.com). He stared at the cover with big eyes and then held it up to my husband.
â€œDo you want Grandpa T to read it?â€ asked his mom.
Theo nodded yes while his sister, Haley, came quickly to join in.
Once they found enough lap real estate to get comfortable, my husband began reading in his deep and pleasant voice.Â Â The story is about a young boy who isnâ€™t particularly fond of vegetables, so he plants M & Mâ€™s in his parentâ€™s garden to grow cookies.
â€œHe has brown hair like me, â€œ said Theo.
â€œHe has blue eyes like me,â€ said Haley.
The twins absorbed the words and the pictures. Â My husband,Â holding the book and an armful of grandchildren, was in a state of bliss. Reading books to children have become a rarified event in our lives, but-oh-how-good-it-feels to ignite imaginations through words.
I loved watching three generations sharing a reading moment. I loved hearing the swish of paper as the pages turned, and I loved seeing the delight in Theo and Haleyâ€™s eyes as the story progressed. Would cookies actually grow?
Iâ€™m not going to give the ending of the book away, but I will say thisâ€”in those fleeting minutes of reading pleasure all of lifeâ€™s distractions melted away. It was as though time and distance and technology bowed to the tradition of storytelling.
With a full heart, I can enthusiastically say it was the best part of my day.