My Mimi was special just the way she was in everyday life. Her laugh was magical and it could make everyone around her joyous. She loved Blue Bell Ice cream, which made me love it too. Your life was bettered by being around her.
All of her nieces, nephews, children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren experienced reading with Mimi. There was a special book that only came out when you were alone with her. You didn’t have any other children in the house and no adults either.
It was quiet in the house. Most often it was late at night because I remember the darkness outside. I would have wet hair from a fresh bath and shampoo, with clean jammies on that smelled of Tide. The TV would not be on, yet you knew that you were going to have the best entertainment of your childhood.
Mimi would disappear into the bedroom while I waited patiently on the love seat. That was the best place to sit so I could share the warmth of her presence upon her return. She would come back to the living room with the treasured book, “The Rainbow Goblins.”
It was a very big book, with vivid artistry. None of the children were allowed to touch the book or the pages. There could be no chance of getting the pages dirty or torn. Sitting very still I would be entranced as she would turn the pages appropriately as she read the words.
The words would be read by her dramatically, but softly. Her normally vivacious voice would be almost a whisper tonight as she pointed to the beautiful pictures describing the paintings as the colors jumped into my eyes.
I wanted it to last as long as it could, not because I was trying to get out of going to bed; I didn’t want my time with Mimi and the Goblins to end. She didn’t hurry the book along either. Mimi took her time reading so I could enjoy every word and every detail in the pictures. She would help find the animals, naming each one. I would name the colors of each Goblin, as she helped me find the next one.
With me still not touching the book or the pictures, Mimi would eventually turn to the last page. Her sweet shoulder would move as she closed the book. The magic lingered and in a Goblin trance, I would go off to bed. She would tuck in my covers and kiss my face.
The Rainbow Goblins would disappear back to her hiding place that none of us children could ever find, even though we tried. We all knew the Goblins would not return until we could have another night alone with Mimi.
She is gone and the Goblins remain in our memories. Mimi’s spirit comes back as we read the Goblins to our children. We continue to preserve the magic of Mimi and the Goblins.
There is no other way to share special times with our youth, other than reading. Disneyland, toys, electronics, or media, cannot replace what a book can provide.
I am grateful that I had these special times alone with her. Looking back I am happy that she hid the book, and kept the sanctity of the Goblins by not letting any of us tear the pages. Her reading gave each child a legacy to pass on.