A picture, a snapshot of memory flashes through my head. I’m sitting in the waiting room while James is doing his occupational therapy. There’s another mom waiting for one of her kid’s, reading Hop on Pop to her two year old. I listen to their conversation as he interrupts every other sentence to ask a question. Dr. Seuss was a staple in our household, same as hubby’s. We found his old books while cleaning out the house after his mom passed. We stopped what we were doing to browse through the books, his memories all the more poignant. I think Hop on Pop is just one of those books that transcends time. No matter what decade, kids everywhere learn to read with Hop or Pop or some other Dr. Seuss book. And kids everywhere try to bounce on their dad’s stomach resulting in much groaning and laughter.
When I was nine, or ten, I used to read to my brother. I found a picture of us, sitting on mom’s bed. Me in my white and pink flowered pajama top, tousled hair and my new white Easter Shoes. I was reading Hop on Pop to my little brother. He’s fascinated by the pictures. His eyes are riveted on the pages, a finger between his lips. Poor kid, between me and my sisters, he had five moms. He wouldn’t let me change his diapers anymore, after I pricked him once with the safety pin. He’d scream if I came close. However, he’d let me do everything else. Help him to read and later, when he was ready, teach him to drive. Little did I realize that thirty years later, I find myself curled up in a papasan chair with my son, reading Hop on Pop together. And enjoying all the laughter and giggling and squealing that followed as he tried to hop on his own pop.
I have a picture in my head of James reading to his son, who will also torture him with the tongue twisting Fox in Sox as well as Hop on Pop. Then experiencing the time honored tradition of his son bouncing on his father’s stomach.