The afternoon before I left, I read my daughter a story. It was a story I had written about her on this blog that ended up in a book that I'm now walking around with in my bag.
I've never read Quinlan an actual story that I'd written about her before. Lately, she's been asking about her birth, so I've given her the highly edited, abridged, and "I'm Four Mommy Please Don't Traumatize Me For Life So Maybe I'll Want to Have Kids Someday" version, which basically includes her being in my belly, me pushing her out of my vagina, and then us being awed at her amazing beauty and the fact that she didn't scream.
I figured emphasizing her gorgeousness and "good baby behavior" would keep her from talking about my vagina to strangers.
Yeah, no such luck.
But aside from the "off the cuff" stories about when she broke her leg, or her collarbone, or how she used to never sleep, I've never been able to sit down and actually read her one of my posts, mainly because the power of books -- the ability to hold them in your hands and flip through them -- is something that a computer on the lap just doesn't have, at least for four-year-olds at bedtime. To see the words printed in something tangible makes it seem more real. More alive.
She listened intently as I read a slightly more G-rated story than had been published. Her eyes wide as I told her about the time I thought she had eaten multi-vitamins and turned into a complete lunatic trying to figure out if she actually had.
When I finished, she asked for more. "I want to read more stories about Quinlan and Mommy" she told me.
Maybe it's time to sit with her and read some of the things I've written. I'm hardpressed to believe she's actually ready to comprehend most of them. She doesn't need to know my loathe for crocs or how silly her father can be sometimes.
But I've got plenty of stories that I'd love to share. They're not in books (yet), but they're archived within my computer. Once to share with the small world that stops by Motherhood Uncensored on their way to porn or who knows what.
But also now to tell my child about her life.
I don't need a publisher to tell my these stories are important. There are plenty of ways to take these words and put them in my daughter's hands. And while I have a great love for children's literature, poetry, and nursery rhymes, there's just something so incredibly amazing about reading your child's own story to them as well.
Regardless of whether it finds itself in a wonderful anthology that you can buy at the bookstore, or something you make yourself, the power of our words is something to be shared. If only with the ones we love the most.