"You may have tangible wealth untold; caskets of jewels and coffers of gold. Richer than I you can never be—I had a mother who read to me."
Mother’s Day makes me mushy inside. I love picking out the cards, buying the gifts, and sending surprises to my mom and mom friends. It’s a special month.
As a teenager I was never ashamed to kiss my mom or dad in public. We are fortunate to have children who still want to be around us (most of the time) and will kiss us in public, even if it is on the head.
My mom was there for me and my brothers growing up. She came to every single one of my swim meets from middle school through high school until I could drive myself. Mom taught me how to make peanut butter cookies, grits, sausage biscuits, and corn bread stuffing. She also helped me discover my love of books.
My mom was always working on three books at any given time. There was one in her purse, another next to her bed, and one in the living room. I could never figure out how she kept all the characters from each novel in line, but she did and could talk to anyone about each book at great length.
As I got older we would share books back and forth and when I bought the bookstore, she was thrilled. If Sue Swift lived on Mercer Island she would be a fixture in the store.
A few summers ago, I captured a picture of my kids on vacation all sitting and reading, with no cellphones to be seen and their eyes fixed on the books in their hands. My heart melted. We’d done something good.
As we come off the high of celebrating Independent Bookstore Day and all the hundreds of people that stopped in Island Books, I am grateful for many reasons. One of them is to be a mom who has kids that will consciously pick up a book and read, not because they have to, but because they want to.
I'm lucky to be the owner of a bookstore that has an incredible community who supports and loves us each and every day, not just on Indie Bookstore Day. While I don’t always carry a book in my purse, I have a stack next to my bed and on my desk. Like my mom, I always read three books at a time.
To all the moms who have carried books in their purses, read the bedtime stories over and over again, never said no when their kids asked for books, and stayed up until 2:00am because they had to read just one more chapter: you are my people. Like my mom, you taught a love of books that will hopefully carry on and on.
Happy Mothers Day. May you get the book you were hoping for this year.