This week’s OUaT post is inspired by these thoughts from Gussy Sews. Just like her family, one of our common loves is a passion for books. Luckily both my brother-in-law and sister-in-law enjoy reading as much as the rest of us, or I predict they’d be pretty left out! Both my niece (2 mos.) and nephew (20 mos.) have growing libraries – in fact my sister had a book shower for my niece. I think it’s an awesome idea… tucking it away for my future progeny.
A large part of my childhood memories of free time are those spent with a book. Curled on the couch, or perhaps “hot-sitting” – my siblings’ and my term for sitting on a floor heating vent with a blanket. One of the best things my parents did for us in regards to reading, was to only ever limit our book choices for content. I only ever remember being told I couldn’t read a book because it had themes or situations inappropriate for my age, but never because, “that’s too big a book for you.” In fact, I can remember the deep indignation I felt whenever I discovered I’d read the abridged version of a book – what had I missed?
My family didn’t just enjoy books individually, though. Some of my best and favorite reading memories are those when my mom read aloud. Every single morning, after Bible study, before we got going with schoolwork, mom would read a few chapters from a book. Sometimes it was a story from the particular era we were studying in history, sometimes it was a classic she wanted to introduce us to, and sometimes it was one we had picked out. As we listened, we occupied our fingers… my brother always drawing, while my sister and I either drew or worked on cross-stich.
This tradition only stopped when my brother left for college… when I was sixteen turning seventeen. I still love to hear people read aloud, although that isn’t an opportunity grown-ups get very often.
My mom picked the picture at the top when I requested a reading photo from her (she always gets a OUaT preview because I always have to apply to her for old photos). That’s from March 1992. I was 6.5, practicing my reading with a Bible story book we still have – I like to think that some day grandma and grandpa will introduce the stories of God’s people to my little ones from that same book.
A funny anecdote about the photo (besides the fact that, yes, I’m wearing the prairie dress): I think it’s probably taken not too long after my mom got her shoulder-length hair cut and permed. I don’t remember this, but apparently when she arrived home, I took one look at her, burst into tears and exclaimed, “You don’t look like my mama anymore!” Poor mom. I’m sorry! I think you looked lovely and it was in fact more flattering than the longer hair was!
What about you? What’s your history with books?