I grew up on the Word
Me and my two younger siblings grew up on the written word thanks to my mother. It was probably the best gift she ever instilled in us; the love for reading. She would read to us when we were younger and as we got older and could hold the books in our own hands and form the words through our own moving lips she continued to support our love of reading by buying us books.
There were times, as a single mother, that she couldn’t afford to get us the most popular brand named clothes or the latest designer shoes. Maybe she didn’t buy us the coolest in school gear and sure, there were years where we had to use the same geometry set over and over again, passing them down to each other. But she always bought us books.
I can’t remember what the first book I read on my own was but I do remember the awesome cool school group me and my other friends formed when I was in elementary school. Our lunch hour book club. Yup. Those were the days when me and my two best friends would head out to a quiet area at recess and discuss the crazy antics of the girls in the Babysitter’s Club or roll our eyes in frustration at Jessica as she yet again screwed Elizabeth over at Sweet Valley Junior High. We were called the Get Along Gang by others but that didn’t bother us because we loved to read and I was so happy to find friends who loved the written word as much as I did.
In grade 6 I jumped at the chance to write a children’s book for the kindergarten class. Those who volunteered got paired with a kindergarten kid and we wrote the book for them. Mine was about a crazy lady who had 20 puppies popping up here and there that all she could do to keep her sanity was count them. I remember drawing 20 puppies with increasing exhaustion wondering if it was going to ever end. But the joy I had the day that I handed it over to my kindergarten buddy was overflowing. We sat down and read it, counting those damned puppies together that didn’t actually look like puppies but round bubbles with noses and ears on them.
I look back on my childhood and am grateful that reading and writing were always encouraged in my family. Even the teachers I had all the way up to high school recognized my love for words and would support, encourage and engage my creativity when it came to writing. I attribute how open my mind is today with how much I read growing up. Books pry the mind open, nourish it, cultivate it so that as adults we are not closed to the world around us but eager to see what else can be presented to us.
As I have gotten older and change occurs within me and my life, the one constant has always been books. My love for reading has never wavered and that is why to this day when people ask me my interests, I still always say reading. It is consistent. One of the few things in my life, within me, that is consistent and I draw great strength from that.
I hope that when I become a mother I too can pass on the magic of a story to my children just like my mother did for me. I hope to always be able to provide them with a book, whenever they ask and encourage their love of reading all through their childhood and even into adulthood.
Except for romance novels.
Posted on August 27, 2012, in General Musings & Thoughts and tagged books, children, encouragement, I don't like romance novels, love of reading, sweet valley high, the babysitter's club, writing. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.