I grew up with Adventures in the Big Thicket. My grandparents gave my parents a copy when I was little, and my little brother and I hung on each one of my dad’s different voices as he read through the stories. When Chris & I married, my parents sent me to my new life with the same copy of Big Thicket. The cover was tattered, and the pages a bit warped. It was one of my most special newlywed memories, feeling my parents’ blessing as I started a new chapter of my life. Here, Stepmonster. Go forth and make some memories.
Of course, I became pregnant with Ames shortly after our wedding. But that didn’t stop me from spending most evenings in the big boys’ bedrooms, belly-up in the corner while the boys draped various limbs from bunk beds. We were occasionally interrupted by fidgeting and body functions, but Lucas & Avery were mesmorized by this book of Southeast Texan adventures. Even Chris sat there with his mouth open most nights, getting lost with the rest of us.
The book has since sat in Ames’ room on a shelf, along with all of the other titles that are off-limits to grubby, careless hands. This week, though, we broke it out and let Ames into our world. After the girls went to bed and everyone showered, all of the boys piled onto our bed for a visit back to Pine Island Bayou. By the end of our reading time, Ames had settled in enough to actually pay a bit of attention. The boys were raptured, as usual. Lucas kissed me goodnight afterwards and said, “You’re a really good storyteller.” And my heart grew three sizes.