Tonight the child who now has a decade of her own on this earth has settled in beside me with an exceptionally thick book: The Invention of Hugo Cabret. I’m pleased because I selected it for her some months ago, feeling that because we adored the movie Hugo, she might love the book with its beautiful illustrations and exceptional detail.
But then this child of mine makes my heart feel whole. She concludes the first section of the book and lands upon a final line which makes her own heart soar enough that she mentions it to me. “Mom,” she says. “Listen to this:..”
But another story begins, because stories lead to other stories, and this one leads all the way to the moon.
And my heart soars, too.
This child – the one who I chip away at relentlessly, the one with the starry eyes and the flaxen hair and the breathless delight – she loves words.
She loves the same sorts of words I love so passionately.
It is possible that one of these days we will be ok.
In the crippling chill of our ancient house, she snuggles up near me and flips the pages with delight. It’s probably a small thing, but I’ll keep inviting (or even insisting) that she walk away from the world to read with me.
Because some stories lead all the way to the moon.