Our Grown Children’s Read-Aloud Memories

They May Be Longer Lasting Than You Think

My grown son is a reader.

He doesn’t use the library much from what I can tell because he likes owning the books he reads.

Buying lots of books is an expensive proposition, so he has long been an avid used bookstore fan. He managed to find and read through Stephen King’s entire oeuvre—all 65—at a discount.

Not long ago, he gifted me with one of his finds: Mrs. Piggle Wiggle’s Farm.

It puzzled me. Why this book?

Was it a pristine first edition? Signed by the author perhaps? Or maybe an out of print, next to impossible to find treasure?


Yellowed, stained, dog-eared, it’s obviously been pawed over by dozens of little chocolatey hands. In fact, you might feel the urge to wash yours after touching it.

In other words, it’s been read a lot and loved.

Still I wondered why he thought to give it to me.

The original Mrs. Piggle Wiggle was on my regular read aloud rotation each year when I taught third grade. Of all the books my son and I read together, though, I didn’t remember reading this one to him.

As it turns out, he did and thought I might enjoy a sequel.

The knowledge that he carries this memory warms my heart and makes me deeply happy.

It may not be pretty, but this shabby old much pored over volume is a treasure to me.

It sits on my bookshelf, a reminder that none of the moments we spend as parents snuggled up with our little one and a story are truly lost.

My own recall of what all we read together may have faded into the fog of long-ago days juggling work, carpools, homework, household chores, and the rest.

But I love the fact that his have not.


Note: I did read Mrs. Piggle Wiggle’s Farm before I shelved it, and enjoyed it almost as much as the original. Wise and loving Mrs. Piggle Wiggle may have moved from her upside down house in town to the farm, but she’s still called upon by desperate parents who have no clue how to help break their offspring of their naughty habits.

If you don’t know these books, I would begin with the original Mrs. Piggle Wiggle. The Selfishness Cure, the Answer-Backer Cure, the Slow-Eater-Tiny-Bite-Taker-Cure, et al…all the “childhood maladies” are resolved so cleverly by Mrs. PW. Funny and oh so appealing to kids, this classic is still a must-read.

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