When I was in second and third grade, my teachers read us many, many books. I loved hearing their voices and the sounds of the pages being turned as we hung on their every word. It was a comfort, and was my favorite part of the day, where work was put away, our ears were perked up, and all we had to do was listen and use our imagination. Boy, did I use mine well. It went into overdrive as I listened to Bunnicula, The B.F.G., Superfudge, James and the Giant Peach, Frecklejuice, The Celery stalks at midnight, and Ramona Quimby age 8, just to name a few. I loved it, up until we were read The Witches. I dreaded story time, then. I remember my heart pounding and my palms sweat as the words dripped from her mouth. With my overactive imagination and terrible fear of the dark at that age, that book did not bode well, at all, and still to this day I shudder and shy away from that book, as if it could bite. That book really got under my skin. I have every book my teachers read me from those grades stocked in Gracie's bookcase ready for reading except that one. That may be a book she may never read. My childhood fear of it may very well keep it out of her bookcase.
Now that she is in the age of reading, I am eager to stack in front of her the books that I loved so much as a child. They took me places, made me feel like I had company on those nights the dark seemed so foreboding, and made me feel understood, and entertained. All it took was to open the book and let my eyes glide over the page. No electronics needed, just a good solid spine and some paper attached to it. I adored my books.
Somewhere, my love of reading took a nosedive. I had no time, too busy, my attention span waned, there were/are a million excuses why I can't read. I haven't read a book in ages. I have them ready though. I religiously cruise through our local thrift store and find these gems, buy them, and stock them up for when the time comes when I can curl up with a good book. It seems like such a luxury. I love that thought. I must make it happen.
Years ago, at that local thrift shop, I found and bought all the Harry Potter books for Grace. The deal was, she would read the books, one at a time, then we would have a movie night after each book to celebrate. This week she finished the first book, and was over the moon excited to see her book become alive and dance on the big screen.
First things first. Pizza must be ordered. Pajamas must be donned. Curtains must be closed, and a lightning bolt must appear on your forehead.
Next, we must concoct a recipe to resemble Butterbeer. After cruising through recipes, we decide to just add stuff to the blender and call it good. A little of this, a dash of that, a little hocus pocus, and POOF, you have Butterbeer (which she said tastes a lot like fizzy egg nog).
1 Cup good quality cream soda
1 Tbsp. Butterscotch syrup
1/4 Cup vanilla ice cream
good pinch of ground nutmeg
good pinch of ground ginger
In a blender, blend up the cream soda, butterscotch syrup, vanilla ice cream, nutmeg and ginger. Pour into a frosty mug or glass and top with whip cream and some ground nutmeg. Mmmmmm. Fizzy eggnog.
Piping hot pizza is here, Butterbeer is made, now it's time to enjoy the movie. I keep asking Grace if people/parts in it is what she pictured in her head. I am surprised by the number of "no's", and badly want in her head to see what she was seeing as she read the book.
I am happy she is a reader. When I see the light on in her bedroom way past her bedtime and peek in, 99.9% of the time she has her nose stuck in a book. Instead of turning off the light as I should, I melt a little and say "5 more minutes, K?" and I let her read because I love seeing it.
Sweet Valley High. The Babysitters Club. The Thornbirds (guilty pleasure, yipes!). Black Beauty. Fear Street. All the Judy Bloom books. Island of the Blue Dolphins. Who put that hair in my toothbrush? V.C. Andrews books (!?! ) The Chronicles of Narnia. Little House on the Prairie. These are all books that took me far, far away.
Grace's bookcase has the ability to take her places, and I have waited a long time for those books to come alive. They are starting to, the arms are unfurling and grabbing her attention. One by one they are starting to march out, and I am excited for my little girl. My little bookworm. : )