Sunday, March 4, 2012

Confessions of a Bookworm

I love the fact that World Book day is celebrated in the month I was born.  When I was a little girl, I thought my name was "HurryHeather".  This was because my nose was always stuck in a book and I never heard my Mom the first time when she said, "children it is time to go."
 I was not allowed to bring a book to the table.  Sometimes, even my mother, who preached, "put the mayonnaise in a nice bowl please," would be in a rush in the mornings and leave the cereal box on the table.  As a result, with nothing more interesting to read, I would read the back of the box.

I don't remember the process of learning to read, I just know that I was reading already when I went to school.  All of my daughters learned to read easily, although the middle one could not sit still long enough to read a book, until she was in her late teens.

My granddaughters are learning their letters now in a very fun way.
Isn't my daughter smart?  She floats a cupcake pan in a plastic "boat" for the paint.  Little ones paint away to their hearts content and presto...easy cleanup.

At their command, Camille paints a requested letter for them. They also love to match their foam bath letters with the ones on the wall. She thinks it is fascinating that they can match letters any which way.  They have no concept that the P is upside down and backwards!
My most favorite time of the day when younger was at bedtime story hour.  My mother would read to us after we were in bed with my little brother in her lap.  She read things that were far too old for us in the world's opinion, but as she would insist later, "Well, it had to fun for me too!"  We began "Little Women" when I was seven and Rosalind was six.

Sometimes my Dad was gone on his top secret Air Force trips and Mom would read more than one chapter at night but more often, there would be a quick chapter before my Dad would come into the bedroom to kiss us goodnight with his scratchy chin and the smell of his evening cocktail, Old spice and tobacco, and whisk Mom away for himself.

The worst nights were when my parents, dressed beautifully in evening clothes, would turn us over to the babysitter and the brand new television and go out dancing.  Although I loved the television, I would always rather create the worlds in books in my imagination and could hardly wait to find out what happened next.  This was a strong impetus to learn to read "chapter books" myself.

Growing older, both my younger sister and I, after having had our flashlights confiscated when caught reading in bed after "lights out", could be found reading with our checks pressed against the window so we could read by the light of the street lamp outside.  This secret reading created a bond that transcended the rivalries of siblings.

In a very real sense, people who have read good literature have lived more than people who cannot or will not read.
It is not true that we have only one life to lead; if we can read, we can live as many more lives and as many kinds of lives as we wish.
— –  S. I. Hayakawa  (via abreathofdesperation)
As a twelve year old, I discovered Russian authors and read way beyond my age.  Of course, re-reading these books in college, I realized that there were lots of themes and ideas I had not understood.  But the glorious descriptions of another time and place!  The very different lives!  I was entranced.

Then came motherhood. Safe to say that it is a miracle my children survived.  Here is Alethea as a baby...
Me, blithely reading, while Alethea tries to swallow a ball and poke herself in the eye with a pen.  And who was taking the photo instead of rescuing her?

Her equally inattentive Auntie Roz, "co-street lamp reader."
I have been gathering ideas on Pinterest because I would like to have more room for books and will be sharing some of those in another post. 

For another post on books, go to Small But Charming. Scroll down to her March 1 post titled "Love Among the Stacks.  I also loved the two posts at A Thoughtful Eye titled "Well-Read"  One and Two.

And finally, though I don't read poetry as often as other works, here is one I love.  I cannot remember whose blog I discovered this on, so my apologies.  I will link up as soon as I find it again. Found it!  Post by Danielle at A Thoughtful Eye

Touch me by Stanley Kunitz
Summer is late, my heart.
Words plucked out of the air
some forty years ago
when I was wild with love
and torn almost in two
scatter like leaves this night
of whistling wind and rain.
It is my heart that’s late,
it is my song that’s flown.
Outdoors all afternoon
under a gunmetal sky
staking my garden down,
I kneeled to the crickets trilling
underfoot as if about
to burst from their crusty shells;
and like a child again
marveled to hear so clear
and brave a music pour
from such a small machine.
What makes the engine go?
Desire, desire, desire.
The longing for the dance
stirs in the buried life.
One season only,
………………….and it’s done.
So let the battered old willow
thrash against the windowpanes
and the house timbers creak.
Darling, do you remember
the man you married? Touch me,
remind me who I am.

Please leave me a comment below and let me know something about  your relationship with books.

1 comment:

  1. Hey mom,
    That second photo is actually of Brittany as a baby.

    I feel so blessed to have been raised in a family that values reading over sitting in front of a TV, even if it did take me a while to appreciate that fact. There is nothing better than a relaxing day with a good book.


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