Wednesday, September 10, 2008

We all had the moon

One of the most special aspects of our vacation is we get to spend several days with my beloved Uncle and Aunt who reside deep in the South. By traveling past the Mason Dixon line, it enables them to come up and join us for several days.

Last year was the first time they joined us. While gazing at the moon during that first visit, my then three-year-old daughter taught my aunt, a retired preschool teacher, Laurie Berkner's Moon, Moon, Moon song. For her 4th birthday this past April, my aunt sent little lady a copy of Many Moons by James Thurber. A wonderful story about the sick princess Lenore and her desperate father, the king, who will get her anything to make her well. All she wants is the moon and eventually she gets it.

What was most touching about receiving the book was the note my Aunt enclosed explaining how her mother had read the book to her. My grandmother was a big fan of The New Yorker so I'm sure having a children's book written by a New Yorker writer was a huge treat for her to read to her children.

The copy of the book my aunt sent was the only one she had and included an inscription from a former preschool student's family thanking her for being a wonderful teacher. I was so touched that she gave my daughter her only copy of a book she cherished.

Weeks later I came upon a set of books my now (almost) 95 year old grandfather sent me when the boys were born. They were original editions of both The Little Prince and Many Moons, complete with the fancy "from the library of" labels with my late grandmother's name in typeset. My aunt had told me she didn't know what happened to the copy of Many Moons. It was so safely stored away from children's hands that I forgot I had it.

So I decided the original edition of Many Moons should go back to the woman who once had it read to her when she was a little girl. And that all of us should have our own moons like Thurber's princess Lenore. I asked an incredibly talented artist/jeweler here in town to design and create three moons - one for my aunt, one for my daughter and one for me. What she created were delicate hand painted moons with craters. On closer inspection you can see that a part is painted darker to show the crescent. Her design was brilliant.

We all sang "Moon, Moon, Moon" and read Many Moons while wearing our moon necklaces on vacation. Under a beautiful moon.


Jami said...

Dang! I'm all teary all of a sudden. I think I want to be adopted into your family - do you need a sister or something?

BTW, I love kid stories with the moon in them.

Heather said...

Love the idea of the necklaces. How wonderful.

soccer mom in denial said...

Jami -

Since I don't have any sisters, the job is open. Feel free to send your resume and 3 references. And a small bribe.

Heather -

Thanks for the compliment and for ALWAYS commenting. You are terrific.

Kate said...

You do the most sentimental things! That's cool.