“The Books”

My husband and I have moved 20 times in 32 years of marriage. To say that our grown children or we have struggled to call any place “home” is an understatement. For those of you who have frequently moved as a family, you understand what I’m saying.

When my boys were young, and finances were tight, I often said the two things that were non-negotiables were nutritious food and good books. And back before there was something called a “Kindle,” there were only two types of books, paperback or hardbound. To last through three boys, I decided to buy hardbacks.

Those hardbound children’s books that I felt were as necessary as nutritious food for my sons developing minds are stored in plastic tubs and are on shelves in a spare room in our home.

As we (my husband and I) have done some serious spring cleaning and organizing the last couple of months, we gazed at all those tubs of hardbound children and junior books again. We thought of a great place we could donate them to. My heart ached as I considered parting with them; I didn’t want to be selfish, but at the same time, I felt such an emotional attachment to those books!

I thought I would talk to my (now grown) sons and that they would give me the push needed to do what I felt like was the right thing and donate them. I asked each one of them what I should do with the books. They looked at me with such strained faces and said please don’t donate this series, that book, they each had a laundry list of what they couldn’t part with.

I thought about this occurrence that seems to happen each time I talk about donating them, and finally, I realized that those books are one of the few constants that we have had in all the homes and communities that were a part of our lives. Those tubs full of children’s books represent “home.” They represent our son’s childhoods, our time spent together homeschooling, and me reading the same stories over and over with each child.

Yes, they represent our home but even more so, the heart of our home. Those books aren’t going anywhere, they simply can’t!