books · life

Once a King or Queen of Narnia…

Last week I took my oldest son to look at colleges. To my joy, my alma mater is high on his list.

We began the day looking at artifacts from ancient Mesopotamia. I did not remember all the detail in the beards and jewelry on the friezes. (Somehow bracelets weren’t high on my list of must-sees when I was nineteen.) My favorite are the flower bracelets.


Much of the art from Sargon II’s palace has ancient Sumerian text on it. It was as if, once they invented writing, they just couldn’t help themselves… like preschooler who have just learned to write their names.

My son sat in on a class, while I read a book and tried not to drown in the waves of nostalgia that washed over me. We had lunch at the same booth where one of my old boyfriends came out to me. The menu has been updated, but the art is unchanged.

We had time before our official tour to duck into a bookstore. My son didn’t remember going there a hundred times as a toddler, but I did.  We bought a few books, and the clerk asked if we were members.

“I was twenty-five years ago,” I said, “but I doubt you still have me in the computer.”

“Once a King or Queen of Narnia,” she said, “always a King or Queen of Narnia.” She was right. There I was, as if I’d never left. Much more Lucy than Susan.

I know it was unfair to bookend my son’s day in cuneiform and literature, but it’s a mom’s prerogative to stack the deck now and then. Just when it really counts.

5 thoughts on “Once a King or Queen of Narnia…

    1. I took him to Bond Chapel and Harper Library too, but those didn’t do it for him the same way. (And I stood in Weibolt Arch until I was almost frozen, waiting for there to be a moment without anyone there so I could sing.)


      1. I love you. Not to make Jonah’s life decisions a means to an end 🙂 – but his being there would give us an excuse to meet up for a Chicago weekend – and then we can sing in Weibolt arch together (regardless of the people).


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