Notre Dame
High School

Lawrenceville, NJ
School Life
The Voice

Don't Let Go Of Your Childhood Books

Laura Bedser '19

Your childhood books may be gathering dust right now, but your favorite stories are one treasure from the past you’ll want to keep.
Four years ago, in one of those teenage I’m-not-a-child-anymore phases, I donated all twenty-plus of my Disney Fairy books. It seemed silly to keep them at the time. I didn’t read them anymore, they took up unnecessary space, and… I felt like keeping them was childish, me clinging onto some nostalgia from that past that I was desperate to get away from.

Now, at eighteen, I would do anything to get my copies back. My mom gifted me new copies of a few of the books a year after I realized my mistake, and I’m so grateful that I get to have those words again. But I miss having my copies, the ones my chubby child hands held again and again as I read and reread those fairy books. Those stories inspired hours of dancing around in gardens, pretending I had wings.

I also wish that I could give those copies to a child of my own one day. When we grow up, we so often forget the magic of childhood, when sticks in the backyard become magic wands and old keys unlock entryways into invisible worlds. Those books outlined those important days of my childhood where I learned how to build my own imaginary worlds. Obviously, I’m not dancing in my backyard anymore, having discovered the gate to a fantasyland, but I’m creating fictional universes instead.

Those childhood books are important: they taught you simple lessons. They showed you how to imagine. When parents or family members read them to you, you knew you were loved, and that if you begged, you could almost always get one more story. Before you get rid of those neglected copies collecting dust in your basement, read them again. Store them for safekeeping, remembering that heirlooms aren’t just jewelry.

One day, in the not-so-distant future, you might get the chance to share those stories you cherished at a young age with a child, and the cycle will start anew.

Notre Dame High School

Located on 100 beautiful acres in Central New Jersey, Notre Dame High School, founded in 1957, is a college preparatory school for grades 9 - 12, preparing young men and women for lives of purpose, built upon a foundation of Catholic faith, with a commitment to academics, co-curricular activities and service to others.