So I read louder and added two more books to our to-read stack, snuggling in with my very happy four-year-old.
Mostly because I am totally not the meanest mom ever, and because adding more titles to the books we were reading would secure at least one of the kids would go to bed happy.
And as an aside, Nick woke up this morning, apologizing to me.
Because see? I am not the meanest mom ever. That title is surely held by someone else.
The first time I discovered The Kissing Hand was when Nick was Madeline’s age, having a hard time adjusting to a new school. We read the story together, regularly, night after night after night.
Until he felt better. About school. And not being home with me during the day.
And that life was really not ending because he got to play. And color. And craft. And snack. And nap. And make new friends.
When Madeline went off to preschool for the first time, she handled it very differently than Nick. So I had forgotten about the book. And hadn’t introduced it to her.
Last night, we changed that. It’s a sweet story about a Mama Raccoon and her baby raccoon, and how she helps the baby go off to school for the first time. She kisses the palm of his hand and tells him that if he misses her, to put the palm to his face and he’ll feel the kiss warm his cheek and go straight through his heart.
The book is a short read. In that, you won’t inwardly groan when your child selects this one at bedtime and you are beyond exhausted. It has beautifully colored drawings throughout, and was a popular New York Times bestseller. Which is no surprise because if you have young kids heading off on a new adventure, it’s a story they (and you) can relate to.
Although it wasn’t inspired by the book, I did something similar for Madeline when she started a new school last month. I drew a small heart on both of our hands, so if she missed me during the day or was nervous about the new school, she could look at the heart and think of me, and that I would be there to pick her up soon.
Something so small. Yet so big.
Tomorrow? A recipe for a healthy take on sloppy joes.
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