I recently enjoyed a rare outing alone. I went to Barnes and Noble, where I picked up Mindy Kaling's new book and another Chuck Klosterman book. As I was standing in the long checkout line that snaked around partitions and tables of seasonal books targeting impulse buyers like myself, I began examining a table of children's books about Easter. Steve and I were just talking the other day about Robinson's Easter basket, and now that I'm shopping without Rob, this is the perfect opportunity to pick up something from the Easter Bunny! My train of thought during the three minutes spent perusing the table was something like this:
Let's see..."Guess How Much I Love You"...he already has that one. Ooh, a Berenstain Bears Easter book! I loved Berenstain Bears when I was little...this could start his own collection! Oh, I read online that Jan Berenstain died last week. That's so sad. Hmm...this is actually a pop-up book, and Robinson thinks the point of pop-up books is to rip the pop-ups out of the book. I don't like him to deface books. And if I buy him an "Easter" book, I'll want to only keep it on his bookshelf during Easter time, then I'll pack it away, and what's the fun in that? I know! I will pick a book that is Easter-ish, like this book about farm animals! Rob likes farm stuff. Maybe I'll make that the theme of his third birthday party. How is a farm Easter-ish? Why is it on the Easter book table? Oh, because farms have chicks, and chicks hatch from eggs. Easter. Eggs. Gotcha. Actually, that would be good for his Easter basket. Only, it's a small board book, and he seems to gravitate towards larger books. Ugh, I'm feeling some Protestant guilt that none of the books I'm considering say anything about Jesus. I'm sending a wrong message that Easter is only about bunnies. Oh, but he's only one. What's wrong with a book about eggs? Hmm...come to think of it, Rob wouldn't like any of these books. I'll look elsewhere. None of these are right for Rob.
Lucky for me, the line advanced forward and I was free from the shackles of agonizing over which Easter-themed children's book to not buy for my nineteen month old. That's when the realization hit me, and I felt a huge grin across my face: My son has grown up and developed his own personality to the point where I can reasonably disqualify an entire table of perfectly good children's books. It's difficult to explain, but there is something so gratifying about bringing a tiny human into this world, and then watching him slowly evolve from helpless, expressionless, sleeping, eating, swaddled newborn, to the fully-formed toddler he is today. And Steve and I are the only people who could have glanced at that table of books and formed the same conclusion. It made me oddly giddy.