Yesterday Arden snuggled beside Kara on the couch, feet tucked up and leaning into her. Bold and confident Kara reads Blueberries for Sal. We've read that book so many times, picking memories all the way.
Earnest Ally, Flighty Sam and Baby Kara picking blueberries among six foot bushes and we chant out together plink, plank, plunk. We had read it, and read it and lived it sans the bear. I know we're not the only ones.
Even earlier I remember the first time I read it to Ally, on another couch, another house, a faraway state. Back in the days when my girl and I would read an hour at a time til my throat hurt and we'd hit the books again in the afternoon. When Little Sal and Little Bear are all mixed up on Blueberry Hill, Little Ally tenses; she knows they'll be found out, laughs out when they are found, and breathes out when they go home with their mother. I knew we'd read that book a hundred more times, because that's one good story.
In another house, and another state Little Kara opens a present, her very own hardcover copy of Blueberries for Sal. A book we chose hoping someday she'd sit with her own little ones and read of buckets and blueberries and bears. And she loved that book. She loved that book so dearly she carefully cut out a page and I found her on the living room floor coloring Sal. All those line drawings, just begging for one more artist to add her touch.
Yesterday I mentioned to Kara that it wasn't possible to read the story to Arden, it's missing a page. Oh no, she'll just tell Arden the missing page of the story, and read him the rest. We laughed, our memories all mixed up on Blueberry Hill, and Jolly Kara says, "Well, it does look like a coloring book."