Okay, so before I jump in, I need to preface this by saying -- I have been reading to J since he was a tiny little baby. I am not a perfect parent so, J and I do not get the opportunity to read every single night anymore before bed. I know, I know, but to be honest, our routine changes slightly with J's mood here recently so sometimes, we don't get to share a story before he goes to sleep, BUT, we make it point to try to read every night, and with recurrent ear infections as we are dealing with right now, reading is a great way to get J's mind off of not feeling well for a few minutes before sleepytown hits. With that said, his favorite book of ALLLLL time is "Goodnight Moon", so this blog post is really personal to me, as a mom, and a photographer, because I got the chance to document a part of J's childhood and bring it to life for us to always remember together. So, now, we begin.
Back in November, I took my son, J and our friend, Courtney to Greenville, SC to watch my best friend from high school, Caitlin, renew her wedding vows with her husband, Jeffrey (PS: Watch for the blog post on those two cuties soon). While we were there, we googled free things to do in Greenville with a toddler, and one of the first things we saw was the "Mice on Main" Scavenger Hunt.
I asked Caitlin about it and she said that "Mice on Main" is a book inspired from the mouse from the original "Goodnight Moon" children's book, written by Margaret Wise Brown, and the story continues through Downtown Greenville with nine bronze plated mice hidden through the main stretch where children have to find them.
Immediately, we thought this was a GREAT idea!! J has always LOOOOOVED Goodnight Moon and HAD to find the mouse on almost every page of the book when we read for bedtime together. And, if you are anything like me, it would've never been apparent to you, if you didn't have a toddler yelling, "MOUSE!!" immediately while laughing and pointing to each picture after turning each page. Dare I say, we couldn't leave Greenville without finding, and documenting each and every single mouse!
We began! However, we didn't do the normal and read the book along with finding the mice, we took to jumping in and discovering them on our own, and then reading the book afterwards, kind of like a recap of our own little adventure which personally, I tend to think was the best for us. This was a two day excursion to find nine mice that want to have fun outside on their own adventures. It began at the first spot with the Father mouse, and ended back up the street with the Mother mouse overlooking all of the children playing safely down the stretch. At the end of the trip, we ran out of time on purchasing the book, so Caitlin was so gracious to send us a token of love, by gifting the book and a mouse of his own to J so he can continue the story here at home. This story is so sweet, and to participate in bringing it to life, complete with having a mouse of his very own, is a story that J and I will be excited about for years to come!!
If you are in Greenville, I HIGHLY recommend taking the time to take your toddlers on the adventure to find all of the mice, and document the fun and the memories you will make. I have to say, J still hides his mouse throughout the house, and even lets it sleep under his bed some nights. Sometimes, he carries him throughout the house, and has little adventures of his own. And, if you want to know, J kept the name original and true to the beginning of when we began our reading adventures- "Mouse".
I'm going to tell you, that I will not share where all the mice are because that would ruin the fun. You will have to take a trip to Greenville and experience the "Mice on Main" adventure for yourself with your own kids. The author of Mice On Main, Linda Kelly, and illustrator and sculptor, Zan Wells, both did an AMAZING job on bringing not only one, but two sweet children's books to life, and we will always remember Greenville for the adventure we had. Goodnight Moon and Mice on Main are J's two favorite stories that I know will follow him through childhood.
PS: Excuse the cell phone shot, we had just woken up; J was in a rush to play with "Mouse" and read his book! But isn't he still just as cute as ever?!