Robert the Rose Horse

The first time I met Robert was when my younger sister was three or thereabouts. That would have made me ten. Her favorite book was Robert the Rose Horse. I read it to her a LOT.

Years later when I had my own children, I made sure they experienced Robert for themselves. One of the things I remember best about reading the book (and reading it and reading it and reading it again) was that my sister and my own children never seemed to tire of anticipating Robert’s sneeze.

WELL…Great Grandpa got Robert the Rose Horse for three-year-old Tony. The daughter read it to him on Christmas, and then when we visited, I got to read it to him. Yesterday, his big brother read it to him. In fact, it was RJ’s reading that woke Grandpa and I up (we sleep in the living room when we visit). RJ and Tony were sitting on the love seat behind us, and what we heard was “…his eyes began to itch. His nose began to itch. And then…”

Simultaneously, they yelled, “KER-CHOO!”

They were laughing, and while I enjoyed that and the fact that RJ was reading to his little brother a lot, I am impressed with a book that three generations of my family have enjoyed as well.

Family traditions are composed of many different things. In some ways, I think they help define who we are. While I doubt that Robert the Rose Horse will have an overwhelming impact on my grandsons as they travel through life, I hope that when they are dads or uncles and are picking out books for the kids in their lives, they will remember hearing Robert’s story. I hope they will remember being read to and the family time involved with it.

Undoubtedly that’s one of the best traditions to pass on.


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