Monday, November 26, 2012

Reading is Fun and Mental

But in a good way.

I love to read, always have.  I taught myself to read when I was four, because I was bored and lonely. I read all the Little Kids' Books that were popular at the time, Pokey Little Puppy, Engine that Could, Good-Night Moon, etc.  But the coolest books I had were the ones my grandfather gave me. 

For my fifth birthday, he gave me a wonderful book of poems,  "Now We Are Six", by A.A. Milne.  "I'm only five," I told him.  "But by the time you are six, you will have read the book," he answered, which made perfect sense to  me.  It's still one of my favorite books and I read it several times a year.

He gave me a book called Anno and Tanno, about two kids growing up in Norway.  It was beautifully written and had gorgeous illustrations, and had the ability to make me feel I was right there with naughty Anno and Tanno, slipping out of my boots  (as I was being punished by standing behind the blackboard), and running out into the snow.

The year I was in fifth grade, Pappap was in the hospital with a mild heart attack, but he had my dad give me the book he had bought for me--a huge, gorgeous book of Japanese Fairy Tales. 

I read  these books a million times when I was a kid.  I love the fact that the books he gave me opened up  a completely different world that I would never know in person.  And that every time I think of them, I can feel their magic all over again.  That is pretty fucking cool.

There are a gazillion things I adored about parenting my kids when they were young, but one of my Top Faves has to be reading to them.  It didn't matter that they invariably picked a book that we had already read 1,000 times; or that they were old enough to read the book themselves; the joy of them cuddling up next to me, totally lost in the world of the book, gave me a special closeness with them like nothing else.  And it always seemed to me that I could feel my grandfather's love surrounding us.

Thanks, Pap.

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