I had a rush of memories after reading about Tasha Tudor's death last week, and I headed to the bookshelf to pull out my well-worn copy of this book to reminisce. It was the ONLY book that engaged my daughter Joy when she was a toddler. Her older siblings sat in my lap by the hour as we read book after book. Not Joy. She displayed an independent spirit from the first and would grab the book out of my hand while announcing, "I read it MYSELF!" Then she would run to a quiet corner somewhere and jabber while turning the pages.
I was concerned. Reading is what I do and I wanted to do it together. Perhaps I wanted it too much, because nothing could entice her to sit on my lap for a book.
Enter Tasha Tudor. My Mom gave me a copy of Tasha Tudor's Private Word, a glossy coffee table type of book with gorgeous photographs. Joy was mesmerized. We bleated with the goat, used our fingers to stir Tasha Tudor's soup pot, petted the kitty, and said rhymes about the full moon pictured in the book. We did this SO MANY TIMES that even today when I turn the pages I walk my fingers up Tasha Tudor's snow-covered steps and count as I go. It is an ingrained response.
I asked Joy if she remembered this book? Yes, she remembered. This said with a coy little smile. She still is and always will be "Miss Independence", but I am thankful that this one book is a shared memory for the two of us.