Friday, November 9, 2012

JR's Hello, Goodbye Window

Do you have a Hello, Goodbye Window? If you don't then you certainly need one, or rather two - the book and the actual window.

JR and I discovered the book at our local public library. After holding on to it for as long as we could, we sadly had to one day return it. So sad to have had to part with it, I decided to purchase a copy for my home library. Now it is one of the most read books in our house, and I am consistently glad to have made that addition.

The book is narrated by a young girl who loves to go to her Nanna and Poppy's house. The kitchen window there is no ordinary window–it is the place where life happens. Through the window, the character watch stars, check the weather, wait for visitors, look out the garden and, most importantly, say hello and goodbye. The book is in prose format but very easy to follow. The first-person text is simple, the vocabulary ordinary but rich, and the story paints a perfectly child-centered world.

As for the actual window, well, that one has been in existence for a long time. I just never thought to name it, until one day soon after we started reading the book JR blurted out, "that's the hello, goodbye window!" And, it sure was! It is Jeff's office window in Georgetown where JR announces her arrival. I hold her up, she taps on the glass, and Jeff peers from behind the blinds. When he is not there, we wait while she sulks. But when he is, and he appears before her, she jumps for joy. I had been using that window for years, almost four years to do the same: let him know I am here and peek to see if he is there or not, with company or not, before I tapped my arrival. Then, when JR was old enough to do it herself, the torch was handed down to her delicate hands.

Jeff has since relocated offices but the windows in his new office are just too high for them to play the role of the "hello, goodbye window." Luckily, JR and I have not had the chance to visit him at the company since the move and so JR is not yet aware of the missing "hello, goodbye window." One day, though, she will learn of the change and I hope that she will take the news casually.

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