There are a few children’s stories that make me cry, make me choke up and tear up each time I read it, make me pause to where my children look up and ask why I stopped reading. “The Little Stone Lion” with the beautiful cover implies heart tugging emotion. The artwork, simplicity and truth of the story touch me every time.
I first read “Mars Needs Moms!” while at the bookstore with my entire family. The cover with the Mom and Milo is sweet but the premise of Mars and the recent movie prepared me for a humorous story.
It read humorous with an interesting premise, one of course that I could appreciate being a Mom. And then it hit me, I turned the page and Milo realizes, sees his Mom in a new light. The words, his realization, the illustration just hit me and I was a ball of mush.
During the holiday season I like to read one holiday-themed story a night. On this night the selection was “A Bad Kitty Christmas”. For those of you that have read any of the Bad Kitty books you are familiar with the surly cat, the humor, ample use of alliteration and clever story telling. Bad Kitty books make me laugh but never have they ever made me cry.
I’m making quick progress through the book as its quite long and the night is getting late. Told in the voice of “Twas the Night Before Christmas” Bad Kitty creates a disaster of Christmas only to make things worse by running away. Taken in by a lady she shows Kitty her Christmas tree simply adorned with photos of all the folk in her life and the people she knew and teaches Kitty the true meaning of Christmas: Family. Kitty flees and returns home leaving the lady to say:
“So I sat in my chair and put my tree in my lap and settled myself for a long winter nap. I was happy to know she had a home of her own. Too bad I’d be spending my Christmas…
Of course the story has a happy ending but it impressed upon me the importance of our history, our stories, loved ones gone and the true meaning of Christmas. In years to come when I reflect on Christmases past I won’t remember what was under the tree. I will remember all eleven cousins singing karaoke, all six Go grandchildren climbing over Lola for a photo, Papa and Nana taking us out for dinner to a Japanese steak house because they think our kids love it but the fire always makes Penny and Oliver cry, my Mom feeding my kids kim-bop with no egg, my Dad spilling hot sauce on Jodi’s white tablecloth, Oliver playing trucks with my Dad and my Mom smiling as she listens to her four chatty daughters gab away. This is what I will remember, the blissfully ordinary moments shared by family.