POPCORN! (Frances Louis)

When my first grade son flung his raggedy blue backpack onto the living room ottoman after school this past spring, I immediately sighed, and politely asked him to hang it on the set of hooks I had installed on the kitchen wall for that very purpose. My request however, went unheard as I mumbled mid-sentence and my eyes fell on a very old, very familiar, and very loved book that had slipped out of the bag and onto the floor.
"POPCORN!" I squealed. My son looked at me as if I had a screw loose (which, after a long day of parenting, probably had). I grabbed my son's hand and pulled him beside me on the couch. "Do you know what this is?" I asked, my hands gingerly touching the pages.
"A book," he replied, fear of my sudden change in behavior, clearly written on his face.
"Well, yes," I ceded. He was, after all, right. It was a book. But it was a special book. It was, and still is, my FAVORITE book. Which I told him as soon as I remembered how to speak again.
With its silly illustrations at my fingertips, I sought to tell my seven year-old, just why the thirty year-old book was my favorite. I'm not sure I succeeded. I mean, how can one share the memories of reading the book for the first time, of loving the fact that the book took place on one of my favorite holidays (Halloween) or the hours one spends just staring at the pictures and picking out which costumed bear you would have been if you had been invited to the doomed party?
I have never owned a copy of Popcorn. By the time I was actually old enough to afford a copy of the book, I had grown out of the early reader stage and had moved on to more age appropriate reading. I had actually forgotten all about the little bears and their Halloween party until that moment when my son brought it home for his own reading pleasure.
Maybe it's time I finally bought that book. Or maybe, with my son in my arms, I'd let him make his own memories of reading so he could tell stories to his own children of how grandma freaked when she saw a book from her childhood.


Pat Davids said...

Oh, Fran, what a lovely story. I can see you are a true lover of books.

Penny Rader said...

What a cool story, Fran. I love your son's cautious, is-my-mommy-crazy reaction. :D Thanks for sharing.

Melissa Robbins said...

Aw, how sweet!

Nina Sipes said...

Your story came alive for me. In my mind I can see how funny it must have been for him to imagine his mommy as a child. How lucky for you to see a copy of POPCORN!!