Today's nostalgic moment is going to be a little different. Each week I like to talk about all of those magical moments throughout my life where a book has just held a special place in my heart. Maybe that book helped me through a hard time or maybe I could relate to a certain character at that point in my life. Some books were just really good and stood out. Some kept the loneliness at bay while others kept me sane. There have been a lot of these magical moments in my life and I hope there will be many more to come but this week I started thinking about that very first magical moment. "When was it?" I asked myself. I had thought it was the Wolf's Hour by Robert R. McCammon but obviously it wasn't. I realized that different stories have been magical to me throughout my whole life and that even before I could read the written word I still loved looking at books. So I racked my brain and tried to go back and find that very first book that I absolutely loved. A book that I would read over and over again and one that never failed to enchant me and then it hit me. Of course, how could I forget that? I can't say that these were the first books I ever read but I can say without a doubt that they were the first books I ever truly loved. And those books were Little Monster's by Mercer Mayer.
Little Monster's Bedtime Book was my absolute favorite of the series. I'm not 100% why to be honest but I think it was the book cover. Even though I didn't realize it, my young mind knew the importance of a good book cover. One that will draw your eyes to it immediately and make you want to buy it. A great book cover will make you take a chance on an unknown author, will make you just have to have it without even sampling it and my younger self was always drawn to this book cover. Maybe it was the purple and blue colors - blue's always been my favorite. Or maybe it was the cozy bed that Little Monster was in or maybe it was his dad telling him a story. I don't really know. I just know I liked it back then and I have no doubt that I would still enjoy it if I read it today.
Little Monster's were truly magical in the way in which only a child can truly understand. As we grow older we start to lose that magic ever so slowly. As we learn about limitations we lose more of that magic. Every time we're told to act our age and grow up we lose a bit more. For every new rule we learn we lose a more and more. Not that there's anything wrong with growing up nor is there anything wrong with rules and limits. We all need them but the world is limitless to a child. As we grow up the world becomes smaller, we start to understand how things work and much of the world's magic is replaced by logic and understanding. I don't wish I was young again but at times I do miss that magic and sense of wonder. I miss the endless possibilities. I miss my toys and stuff animals which took on a life of their own back then. I miss being able to fly everywhere I went if I so wanted to. I miss my bicycle that could transform me from an ordinary boy into anything from an ace fighter pilot to a Transformer rolling out.
But all is not lost. We don't completely lose that magic or our imagination. It just changes as we're forced to take on the responsibilities of adulthood. Every time we see a good movie or a specific scene in a movie and get that tingle up our spine we're reliving that magic. Every time we open a good book and get "that feeling" we are reliving that magic. We relive that magic through our children and through the youth around us. We relive it in little moments everyday without even realizing it. It's all around us and all we have to do is look for it and let our imagination roam. Every time an author writes a good book they're tapping into that magic and every time we read a good book we're reliving that magic. And who knows, without these first books, these colorful pictures that we loved so much then we might never have grown up to love reading as much as we do. We might not have ever found this particular way of recapturing a bit of that magic and so every time we open a new book and get that feeling we will be adding to those memories and adding to that magic and for me it all started here with these books.
Wow, when I first started this post I intended to make it short quick. I planned on just talking about how much I loved this series but something else came out instead. Something that I feel is more honest and captures the magic and memory of these books. I've been so busy lately that I've forgotten to stop and take a moment. A moment to let my mind wander and allow myself to feel that magic that still resides in each and every one of us. That magic that we thought we had lost but is still right there, right around the corner waiting for us to notice. So I'll end this by asking each of you to take a moment out of your busy schedule today, just a brief moment to search for that magic. A brief moment so that you can once again experience a world without any limitations, a moment of endless possibilities and wonder. Just a small moment to be that child again and to allow yourself to feel that magic that still resides within you.