Quiet Cricket

Archer and I have been spending a lot of time at my parent's house. It's been pretty back and forth for us the last two weeks and I thank Heyzues my parents are so close. It helps. Especially when everything decides to happen all at once.

This has been one of the most emotional rollercoaster-ing months of my life. There has been so much going on, most of which I've blogged about and I feel like my head is about to explode most days. I'm back and forth between elated, frustrated, depressed and totally overwhelmed. I stare at the computer screen. And the wall. And my pillow-case, counting stains.

In between births and deaths and weddings and first-words and anniversaries and book-deals, Archer has decided to take up reading. He no longer waits until bath time to read One Fish, Two Fish. In fact, he could care less about bath books anymore. Dude. Mom. Soooo last year.

And it feels like only yesterday Archer was sitting in my lap, in the shower, reading bath books and peeing on my feet.

Bath-time is now just for bathing. And afternoons/mornings and evenings before bed are for reading. EXCEPT, only one book will do: The Very Quiet Cricket by: Eric Carle.

But nothing happened. Not a sound...

My father (who, if you are not familiar, is one of the greatest fathers/grandfathers of all time) loves to read books.

Growing up, I'd carry a stack of my favorite books to bed with me and we'd read them together. One by one. My dad was always patient with me. He would answer every question I had about every character and when the stories got old and boring, he would make up new ones. With new characters. Always silly.

His voice would change according to the character he was reading and his eyebrows never stopped dancing above his eyes like fuzzy-caterpillars.

Reading with my dad was my favorite time of the day.

Several times in the last couple of weeks, I have come home to my parent's house to find my father reading to Archer. The exact same way he used to read to me. And it makes me all teary-eyed and full of joy. Because that's my Daddy. And he gets to do all of the things he loved to do with me, now, with Archer.

But nothing happened. Not a sound...

Over and over my father would read. A hundred thousand times with as much enthusiasm as the first time. And Archer listened, quietly.

When the book closed, Archer would open it again.

I'm pretty sure I would get annoyed after, probably, the 20th time reading the book. "Come on, dude! Something else! PLEASE!" But my dad is a patient dude. And for an entire week... every night... over and over... he would read to him:

But nothing happened. Not a sound...

No more reading in the shower. Archer is on to bigger and better. Books and first-words and bonding with Grandpa. And holyshit. I can barely take it all in without choking on my heart.

So much has happened. So much is going on. I've been trying to catch my breath. Just give me a minute. I'll be right there. Hold on.

But watching them together has been like stopping to smell the roses. Slow down. Breathe. Calm down. Enjoy...

Then he rubbed his wings together one more time. And this time...

There is a lot to be said for patience. It's what The Very Quiet Cricket is about. And being a parent. And a grandparent. It's about waiting until the time is right. To make a sound. It's about being able to step away from the complications of life to enjoy the simple moments. Which I am making an effort to do.

... he chirped the most beautiful sound that she had every heard.

Because the greatest joys are always in the smallest things. Like bedtime stories that never end and fuzzy-caterpillar eyebrows that can't stop dancing.



Russell | 1:58 AM

man, oh, man, he's cute! archer, i mean. haha. this was a solid post, makes me want to visit you guys and share in the reading fun.

Leigh C. | 4:32 AM

Ohh, I love the Eric Carle books.

And it is beautiful how patient your dad is with Archer. It's even more beautiful how much you are savoring the moment.

Avalon | 6:28 AM

You post made me a little weepy.The Very Quiet Cricket was a big favorite for my newphew and nieces. Once their Mom divorced and moved away with them, we stopped being able to see them.I am doubly glad I did stop and savor those peaceful and wonderful moments when we used to read that book together. I hope they remember those times too.

Anonymous | 7:40 AM

This makes me want to go visit my daddy.

Anonymous | 8:06 AM

Yay for no more reading in the shower!

I think my parents read The Jungle Book seventeen frillion times before we moved on. Patience, indeed.

Gabe's favorite book now is one of my old favorites, and when my mother gave it to me over Christmas for Gabe, I nearly cried. It warms my heart to know that he loves that book as much as I did.

"I can barely take it all in without choking on my heart." I loved that line. Simple and so full of meaning.

Anonymous | 8:07 AM

aww yay for larry!!!

foodiemama | 8:11 AM

beautiful and great post!
i just picked that book up a couple weeks ago...there is another one called the busy beetle or something like that...with the whole chirping at the end. we have..sigh..every eric carle book known to man i believe. i became a little obsessed once the lil master was born.

Anonymous | 9:47 AM

I'm delurking after finding your blog about a week ago... I was touched by your post. My mother passed away just five months after my twins were born. I cherish the things that my dad does with them too, and try and pass on the things that my mom did with me as a child. It is those simple moments that really do count.

Hope your days start to settle down and you can continue to find moments like this.

Anonymous | 10:34 AM

I bet my mom read Horton the Elephant and Yertle the Turtle a billion times. I think of her every time one of the boys reads those books. (They're that old!)


Yertle the Turtle is a classic. I LOVED that book!

Jonathon Morgan | 1:08 PM

i feel the same when my my dad reads to the little-e

Anonymous | 3:28 PM

missing arch more and more each time i see that precious baby. loved seeing your dad bonding and sharing a very quiet, loving moment. ecg

Namito | 4:05 PM

You know you read some good writing when there's that fullness in your heart after you read.

Thanks for this. So much.

Her Bad Mother | 4:33 PM

Choking on my own heart over here. Gulp.

Binky | 11:02 AM

I think that discovering books is right up there on the list of biggest milestone's in a toddler's life, and you captured it perfectly.

Anonymous | 12:22 PM

Ah Becca. You got me crying with this one. What a book.

Kristen | 7:32 PM

We live close to my mom and my kids see her and stay at her house regularly. I love that they have that connection, and I too always feel a sense of slowing down when I'm there with my kids and my mom at the same time. When I took them to visit my dad over Thanksgiving this year, the feeling was magnified since they don't see him as often and place him on an even higher pedestal, if that's possible. Good grandparents are an amazing gift.

kittenpie | 11:35 AM

I LOVE this post! For so many reasons. The Carle, the refrain, the nostalgia, the grandpa bonding.

Anonymous | 11:48 AM

Love it. I soooo wish my dad was still around to read books to his grandson, that this got me all choked up. L-man is so crazed about books and reading that I once found myself saying, "Don't you want to watch some TV?" Ack. That book is one of his favorites now, too. That and the Hungry Caterpillar, which was tough during the first 14 weeks of my preganancy. Every time I got to the part where he eats through the cupcake, the sausage, the ice cream cone, etc, I threw up just a little bit in my mouth. Memories.

Debbie | 3:20 PM

this is J's THE BOOK right now, and lately I've had to turn myself into a pretzel in order to convince him we don't need to read it AGAIN, for the fifth time in a row, this evening/naptime/book-break.

I'm so close to breaking open the little battery-thingy and snatching the batteries out.

(I know that wasn't your point, and I totally agree that the reading-love is beautiful, but dude. That effing chirping is GETTING to me.)

Unknown | 12:50 PM

You and now Archer are very, very lucky :)
And the first things I noticed in that photo were your dadddy's eyebrows , hehe.