Tiny books at home

I am staying in my parents house this week. Tonight my daughter was rifling through a drawer full of old doll clothes. Inside a tiny backpack she found this book that I used to pretend read in my parents’ bed. I loved its walnut size in my child hands. It seemed dense enough for adults, but measured for me. It made me feel smart like one of them. It was a material object imbued with my hopes for performing as a literate person at home. In my fingers it’s soft, flippable pages made me worthy of my parents’ attention and intellectual respect. But this child-sized text didn’t seem fit for them. It was both all mine and theirs. I’m not sure I was supposed to have it, but I did and I treasured it, quietly, when their eyes were busy and I was playing grownup. Perhaps that’s why it’s squirreled away in a basement-living doll backpack 34 years later.