Finn approached me with a book upside down in his hands.
“Read it,” he said. “Read it, Mommy.” It was Maisy’s Fire Engine, a book he had been given at school not too long ago. I turned it over in my hands and helped him find a seat next to me on the couch. “Maisy and Cyril are driving the fire engine today,” I began.
“No,” Finn said. He took it out of my hands and turned it over. “Read it.”
“Read the book?” I said.
He pointed to the sticker on the back of it; all the books he gets from school come with one. “Read it,” he said. “Read it, Mommy.”
“I will read my book again and again,” I read. “This book belongs to Finn.”
He smiled, and stared hard at the words. “That Finn’s name,” he said, pointing. He knows it starts with an F. “Read it, Mommy. Read it.”
So I read it again and put my finger on each word as I said them. The look on his face said it all: he was proud.
It never occurred to me that writing his name onto his books was necessary. Our house is full of books and they are all his (or “ours” as a family). Even the ones we get from the library are “ours,” in that they are available for us to read whenever we want to check them out again. But suddenly I could see how much it mattered. Someone had cared enough to write his name on his book, to tell anyone in the whole wide world who it belonged to.
How important it must feel, to have your very own name on something as special as a book you love.