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Last night I taught until just after the girls’ bedtime, and when I came home I immediately headed upstairs for a last-minute snuggle, as is my habit. The girls read books and say prayers with a grown-up, then are allowed a bit of time by themselves with the light on to read some more or do crosswords or puzzle books. Well, traditionally Maddie would read and Cora, not yet a reader, would do some sort of maze book or color.

But recently Cora’s been reading and I’ll occasionally come in to snuggle her and find her working her way through a book. Last night, I happened upon my daughter reading Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree.

Now, this is one of my favorite books, and I can’t get through it now that I’m a mom without weeping. So to see my daughter reading it aloud to herself – well, you can imagine.

I snuggled in bed with her and let her finish reading the book to me, and there may or may not have been some wet spots on my pillow when she was finished. “Well, an old stump is good for sitting on,” Cora read, looking at me and smilling.

I nodded.

Cora finished the book, handed it to me with a grin, and said, “That’s a really good book.”

And the tree was happy.


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