Photo by Jean Marzollo, all text © Irene O’Garden, 2014
It was wonderful to be part of the Chappaqua Children’s Book Festival again this year. I gussy up as Mother Nature on behalf of my book “Forest, What Would You Like?” but also offer my other children’s books.
Among my sales that day, two, in particular, gave me pause. The first was a beaming woman, who bought a copy of “Maybe My Baby” to add to a large basket of books she carried.
“Inscribe it to Charlotte, “she said, naming one of the world’s more notable grandchildren, born just the day before. The basket would soon be delivered to two residents of Chappaqua—one a former and one perhaps a future President.
Of course I was thrilled to have my book included—I felt like a marmalade-maker getting the Royal Warrant: “By appointment to her Majesty the Queen.”
But later a quieter, plainer woman came by. She picked up the same book.
“I work with infants,” she said. She read the book and nodded. “I’ll take it.”
“I’m so happy. To whom shall I inscribe it?”
“Infant B,” she answered. I did so, feeling a choke of emotion. She was gone before I could ask her anything else.
Infant C will want for nothing and I eagerly hope she and her family enjoy my book.
But for Infant B—at such risk a name has not been given—mine may be the only book. A greater, humbling and grief-streaked honor.