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When I think of books and fatherhood some images come immediately to mind.
There was the time my dad gave me The Velveteen Rabbit and inside the cover he had even written an inscription. This was as shocking as anything in my almost 5 years of experience. My father actually wrote in a book - for me. In the evenings we would sit in the living room and he would read me that story. A picture book with chapters, very grown-up for a girl who had not even begun her elementary school career.
Much later there were the times the same man would insist I stop reading and spend some time in the sun. Obviously pre skin-cancer worry days. Having nothing against the sun, I would gladly drag my reading materials out to the lake and read there.
The second inscribed book from my father came at my confirmation. It was the Complete Works of Sherlock Holmes, bound in leather with gold-leaf edges. It was a mark of my "growing-up."
These are books I still have today and cherish. I've read all of the Sherlock Holmes stories many times, but they are a comforting friend that can ease me to sleep after a stress-filled day. I have shared the story of a much loved rabbit with my own children, even sharing the picture I drew of my dad after his inscription.
Now, I listen to my husband read to my children. Listening to them laugh along with Dr Seuss and worry about Wilbur's fate are new reminders of the impact a parent and a good story can have on a child.