Thursday, October 20, 2011

It's The Little Things

We cruised along this morning and shared our enjoyment with the cool weather, and laughed and played our silly little games when I remembered the book.

"Hey, Little Bit, guess what..."

"What, Papa."

"After we get to school I have a gift for you."

Her, all excited, doing the little girl squeal, "What is it, Papa?"

I reach around and get the gift from my bag and tuck it under my left arm, teased her with my evil chuckle, then.

"Wait, Honey, I'll give it to you later." Now she's about to rocket from her seat, she claps her hands and begins to sing one of her 'made up on the spot' songs, "Papa has a surprise for me...repeat...Papa has a surprise for me."

She reads to me every morning, her voice soft, lyrical, tender. Recently her subject matter has been stories of Barbie. Barbie and her little sister solving mysteries or sharing high adventures. Little Bit had expressed her love of the book one morning when she'd been arrested and shut into her bedroom. The book was and is her escape from the realities of her little world.

One morning, as we waited in the car line, she had expressed sadness over the book.

"Why?" I'd asked.

"Cause, Papa, I have to take my book back to the library and I'll miss it."

"It's fine, Sweetheart, you can check it out again."

"We have to wait, Papa, 'cause they said other people may want it too."

I'm a sneaky booger when necessary. I took a quick glance at the book. 'Barbie's Collected Stories,' who knew....
Later, when I made it back to my office I hit and ordered her a copy. They had three copies available....again, is this a rare collected piece of literature... doesn't matter. My small gift of God deserves her own copy.

Within a few days it arrives. I stash it away in my bag and this morning as we're sitting in the car line I dig it out and hand it over.

I cannot remember her words verbatim but it ranged from a very high squeal to just under a glass shattered yell.

"Oh, Papa, really, it's mine."

"Yes, Honey, all yours."


as she's jumping up and down in the truck seat....

"Papa, you mean I can keep it all my life?"

"Yes, Sweetheart, you may keep it for the rest of your life."

She then reached over and took my pen and turned to the inside page and wrote, 'I love Papa.'

I'm here to tell you, it took a great amount of self-control to not....well, you know.



  1. How you kept from crying is beyond me; I'd have blubbered for awhile.

  2. Stephen, you've written often that this blog is a written collection of your thoughts to be saved for LB some day.

    Have you ever given thought of recording your conversations with her that you two share during the day taking her to and from school? Perhaps a high quality mini-recorder to transfer to a cd or perhaps a memory card? She'll value them beyond gold after you're gone.

    I can't tell you what I'd give to have a few recordings of my grandparents voice. I called my grandfather "Papa", too.

  3. Rev. Paul, between you and I, and I hate to admit this, but, afterwards...I do.

    Matt, that's a great idea. Thank you.

  4. Stephen your self control is much better than mine..... :*o)
    Love your Little Bit stories!
    God Bless you,

  5. Shar, thank you very much. I enjoy writing them, just kinda hard at times. God bless you too.

    Kris, thank you and yes she is a sweetheart.

  6. I'll bounce off of what Matt said and say that Walmart in the card department have storybooks that you can record your voice in as you read the book. That would be a wonderful idea to record your voice.

    My grandfather's voice is slowly eroding from my memory, but his lessons never will.

  7. Bless her - and bless you, for your many kindnesses. You are certainly a major influence in her life and one that she will NEVER forget.

    I'm sure she will treasure your gift always :)

  8. Mudbug, another good idea...think I'll do it for her as a Christmas gift. Thank you very much.

    Dani, thank you for the kind comment. I hope she will treasure was given with love. Bless you too.

  9. Just don't be putting barbie on the recommended reading list

  10. and Duke for the win.

    Unless "Barbie learns to shoot and maintain an AR-15" is her newest book.

  11. Duke, 'ole buddy, I'll bring along a copy on our next trip. I will share it with you.

    Mudbug, bet that title would win awards in the liberal occupied state of California.

  12. my dear super friend...i am really know why...but thanks for making know! holy crap... i can't stop...but it's because i am so tired! at least that's the excuse i'm sticking to!

    mudbug - my brother from another mother - don't make me have to come down there and punch you in the face - DO NOT be a barbie hater - i mean it - brother!

    oh Stephen...thank you for always taking the time to share this kind of stuff with us all!

    as you can see from the comments - we alllll appreciate it!

    your friend,
    (thanks for such a nice comment on my most recent post. i needed that my dear friend - i soo needed that. now i think i can finally go and nap. sooo tired.)

  13. Good stuff there buddy. That will be a memory of hers forever.

  14. kymber, I do envy you two...must be nice. I wish it were easy to just jump and run, but life has a way of making us sink roots deep into an area. Our lives become complicated with real estate, business, our children and grandchildren and it's awful hard to severe those deep set roots and just leave. I thank you for the kind thoughts, your presence here makes me happy. God bless.

    MDR, my good friend, I hope she remembers, I truly do...thank you and God bless.

  15. Who is cutting onions in here? Good stuff here.

  16. Rob, thank you.

    mmasse, I understand...thank you. Like the avatar.

  17. kymber,

    My dear sister from another mister, I had a horrible ex that made me buy her Collectible Barbies. And Barbie hates math.

    And probably a moonbat.

    Please don't come down here and whoop up on me. Thanks.

  18. Stephen, dear friend, you and yours are always in our thoughts and prayers. and are always welcome here. you know that.

    mmasse - thank you for raising the onion situation. Stephen - can you please stop cutting onions during your posts?

    your friend,

  19. mudbug - i feel your pain. and love you dearly. i promise that once i get there - i will give my brother a big hug. and only whoop your ass if you deserve it. so far you are safe.

    jeesh - poor Stephen has to put up with us using his blog as a means to communicate (translation: tease) with each other.

    awww - but he's got the big shoulders. he can handle it. right Stephen?

    your friend (and mudbug's sista from another mista)

  20. Glad to hear she got that book! That beautiful smile tells it all! She is so pretty and its so nice to see her happy! Please don't forget to sign and date the book. I started that when my great nieces were 2 & 3 years old. One day we were in a hurry and trying to hide the surprise from her sister, when the oldest told me Don't forget. I said, forget what? She informed me they both have cherished all the books I gave them, even when they were little and still being read too. Well, they are older now--10 & 12 yesrs old. I thought ya put the onions away! : : : I just have nice visit with them Monday and Tuesday. It thrills me when now we see the books and they race over to pick themselves out one to read and keep. Can I have this one, please? I tell them Yes, as long as you promise to pick up a book for brother that you can read to him. And make him read it to you! He's never been much for reading.Hes only 6, but rather be mudbogging, shooting his bb gun-- you know hunting season is here. I still think it is important. My son is 25, and I still surprise him ever so often with a new or strange book under the tree. I see the happiness in his eyes. .Even if its not cool to show it, I always get that great bear hug, whispers of how did you know? . . .and I love you, you are always there. Last year. . .It was, I will always remember this about you, your love of books and your stubborness! I love knowing Little Bit has her Nana and Papa to share things with. The good and the bad and everything in between! She is so sweet and we all think of her often, and know that she is going to be just fine. For she has her Papa and her Nana!

  21. kymber, thank you for the kind words and invitation...and yes, my shoulders are large enough. Have at him.

    kingturkeyoak, thank you. Any book I give Little Bit I sign and wife and I enjoyed your story of the children's books and your relationship with them. She'll always have us...God bless.

  22. That's the sweetest story I've heard all week. These grandchildren of ours can wrap themselves around our heart in less than a heartbeat.

    Thanks for linking to my blog! I have been blogging for several years and one day had a wild hair and deleted it. When I started back I had waited too long to recover all my pages so it is like I am starting over.

    I am enjoying reading your blog as I find a spare minute. We are in NW Florida in between Pensacola and Tallahassee.

  23. Mamma Bear, thank you so much...this series, there are others, are written with love. Sometimes I make people cry which gives me pause, but I write them for my Little Bit.