I am filled with bittersweet feelings when I consider that my daughters will someday read books on their own. Reading has always been something that I provide for them. I am the tree they come to and books are my apples. They shake me every night and then lay under my branches as I shower them with shiny red and green sweetness. But some day soon they will appear with baskets full of apples I’ve never seen before. And they will spend all day sitting in lazy piles around the room gorging themselves on library books, and finishing off rows of books I have shelved in our basement that I have been waiting years to read myself, but never found the time for. I will come home from work a blind man, and they will describe the world to me in all of its bursts of colorful emotion and adventure. And I will try to feel it and see it, but it will not be the same. It will simply fill my heart to know that they feel it and see it. And I’ll have to find my peace in that.

I’m also conflicted because when my daughters learn to read on their own I will never again have to experience that agony that is reading “Barbie Rapunzel”. I will never again have to read this overlarge book, with it’s strange abbreviated plot and idiotic abundance of characters, obviously adapted from an even worse cartoon. So, this thought makes me smile. But at the same time I’m sad, because someday my girls will pick this book up and read it for themselves. And when they do, they will discover the secret. The mystery of Barbie Rapunzel that their father has hidden from them over all these years: that the Prince is in fact named Stefan, and not Prince Hubba Hubba.