I had a mother who read to me
Sagas of pirates who scoured the sea,
Cutlasses clenched in their yellow teeth,
“Blackbirds” stowed in the hold beneath.
I had a Mother who read me lays
Of ancient and gallant and golden days;
Stories of Marmion and Ivanhoe,
Which every boy has a right to know.
I had a Mother who read me tales
Of Gelert the hound of the hills of Wales,
True to his trust till his tragic death,
Faithfulness blent with his final breath.
I had a Mother who read me the things
That wholesome life to the boy heart brings–
Stories that stir with an upward touch,
Oh, that each mother of boys were such!
You may have tangible wealth untold;
Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.
Richer than I you can never be–
I had a Mother who read to me.
Years ago I came across this poem by Strickland Gillilan and fell instantly in love with it. It reminded me of my own lovely mother and the kind of Mama I wanted to be for my own children. I talked to my mom about it one day, mentioning how it reminded me of her and a beautiful smile spread across her face. She explained to me how much she loved that poem and how she’d decided decades ago (during my childhood) that she wanted to base her own mothering on those powerful words, “Richer than I you can never be–I had a mother who read to me.”
How grateful I am for her intentional decision to pass on her love of reading to my five siblings and me. She was definitely successful, as many of our family gatherings turn into conversations about books we’ve read recently and we all pull out our to-read lists and add recommendations while we chat. I’ve since made the same pledge, and I think often of the poem above as I gather my little people around and read aloud to them each day. One of my main goals as a Mama is to instill in them a love for learning and reading. So far, so good.
As Mother’s Day is approaching quickly, I want to share with you a little gift. Print out these bookmarks to color as a fun gift for a reading Mama in your life (or for yourself!). Or give them to her without coloring. She can take a break from reading to color in the designs. These bookmarks were inspired by the Strickland Gillilan poem above, as well as a cliche Mom tattoo and some designs I just thought would be fun to color. Snag the free bookmarks by clicking add to cart below.
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