The Most Thankful Thing by Lisa McCourt, illustrated by Cyd Moore
Rating: 4 stars
I read this book at 4 AM this morning, just a few hours ago.
Lorelei is starting camp today, but it's really like her first day of kindergarten--she is riding the bus to her new school. WOW! What a big day. I've not made a huge deal of it, but of course we have talked about it; I've made sure she has what she needs in her backpack and reassured her that she'll have fun. Two of her preschool friends will be there, one on the bus alongside her. She has been nothing but excited.
But, clearly, she's been hiding her nerves a little, because at 3:30 AM she walked into our room, sobbing: "I can't sleep!" She reported that there was a funny noise in her room and she couldn't figure out what it was. I lay down with her, telling her stories of when she was a baby and what I used to sing to her and do with her to help her sleep. That didn't work so well, so I suggested we do our bedtime routine so to remind her body of what it was supposed to be doing right now. She got up and went to the bathroom and chose a book. It was this one.
The Most Thankful Thing is a little cheesy and definitely predictable. A girl finds her mom sitting and "giving thanks" in a rare moment of quiet (I can relate!). "What are you most thankful for?" asks her daughter. "Guess," is the reply. So the girl gets her mom's scrapbooks and guesses: your time on a winning soccer team? Being the editor of the yearbook? Having your first job? Getting married to Daddy?
She's close on the last one, but of course it's having her daughter, holding her for the first time. It's cheesy and predictable...and I've gotten a little misty every time I've read the book. I was really touched that thoughtful, thought-filled Lorelei chose it--in the middle of the night--before a day that held actual, real-life stress for her little mind and body.
She fell back to sleep around 5 (when Kiefer woke up!). When I woke her up at 7, she bounced out of bed, giggling and smiling, thrilled to go to camp today. That's my girl. She's ready, even though a tiny part of her mind is probably a little bit scared. If she learns how to act--and act boldly, confidently, and cheerfully--while a little bit scared, I'll have done my job.
I'm thankful for this book. Because I can leave a note like this (see below) in Lorelei's lunch and she'll really get what I mean.