Baby Dear

Way back in the winter when I was searching high and low for airplane amusements, I flipped through the bookrack at TJ Maxx and saw a Little Golden Book Treasury. I flipped through it quickly; “The Pokey Little Puppy,” “The Color Kittens,” “Baby Dear.” My hands stopped and my breath slowed and I didn’t even have to turn to page to picture each beautiful illustration. I had loved this book as a child, devoured it, read it over and over by the light of my nightlight surrounded by a protective circle of stuffed animals as I listened while reading for my parents’ telltale footsteps on the stairs. (They warned me it was bad for my eyes, but I heeded no warning.)

I am always stunned by how some things, quirky and strange, can bring you right back to another time and place. This book does that for me. This little book is about a new baby coming home and how a girl turned big sister has both a new baby sister and a “baby dear” all her own to take care of. She moves about her day following her mother’s lead, mimicking all her care and love with her new doll. I had to buy the book. I swore I would bring it with us for the flight – it held several stories worth of reading, surely a worthwhile pack. It wasn’t. At that stage Caroline wouldn’t have tolerated all that text and so few pictures and deemed too heavy, it stayed at home on my bureau.

Only recently did it make its way downstairs to Caroline’s ever expanding bookshelf and there it has been loved many times over. Imagine my happiness that my own little girl loves to read “Baby Dear” over and over and over. It is one of a select few books that I can end and begin again without her even moving a muscle. Sharing this book with her could only be better if I had been able to share my original book with her. (Mom Dad is it possible we might still have this somewhere hidden away – and what about Dick and Jane???)

I suspect that we will be keeping her video monitor in her room for a long time coming. I am sensing a growing circle of animal protectors gathering round a night light for late story telling. I see Mr. Toad and Friends, Little Bear, an entire two part children’s literature anthology that I recently took ownership of that had been my company through many of those nights. I foresee a stealth stair listener capable of jumping into bed as quickly as I used to in an attempt (was it in vain?) to go undetected as "still awake." That's where the monitor comes in, but I don't think I will stop her every time because I also see a little girl immersed in reading, with an imagination so vibrant that her mind paints prettier pictures than those on the pages, a raven-haired early reader. It makes me smile. It’s a little me, only she’s just now on the brink of it all, and I am so excited for her.

Baby Dear


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