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A Family Tradition

Posted Sep 14 2012 6:42am

You know how you have those things…those things you are going to do, those things you want to do,  yet can never remember to do at at time when they can actually be done?

I have lots of those things.  And by some miracle from above, last week I remembered to do one of them, at a time when it was physically feasible and not be interrupted by a child before the task was completed.

That thing? Was to order this:

My mom read my brothers and I both Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little when we were kids. I’ll never forget piling onto my bed in my small bedroom with my mom and older brothers and listening to her read to us about Zuckerman’s Famous Pig and his hairy black savior. The suspense! The excitement each time the clever Charlotte spelled out just the right message to give Wilbur a longer leash on life. And of course, the poignant ending. The lesson that life does eventually end, and begin again.

I liked Stuart Little as well, of course, and the Little House and Chronicles of Narnia books mom read us also, but it was Charlotte’s Web I wanted to read again and again.  I loved the movie, too.  But mostly I loved that special time with my mom.  The coziness, the sound of her voice, the exciting stories.  Not being able to wait until the next night when we’d continue the story. Those are all picture-perfect childhood memories for me.

I am really excited that I am now reading it with my big kids.  I was probably Sophie’s age when I first heard Charlotte’s Web read to me, which means my mom was about my age at the time. That’s crazy to think about, but totally cool too. I’m not much into making my kids think that life is magical and that everything they did as a child was sprinkled with fairy dust, but if I can even come close to re-creating the memories for them that reading with my mom left me with, I will be very, very happy. And hopefully, so will they.  I’m praying our reading time together will leave them with some memories of how wonderful books can be and how much their mom loved spending time with them. I’m praying I can shake off the impatience and weariness that sometimes dogs me at bedtime and just savor the time with them and their eager and curious little minds.

Two chapters down, so far so good! Man, I love this book. And those kiddos!

What books were special to you as a child? What books are you reading with your kids?

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