Monday, March 12, 2007

Favorite childhood reading memory

The ladies at CHBM have another contest. This one is sponsored by CHBM and Kane/Miller Publishing Company. We're supposed to write about our favorite memory of being read to as a child OR our favorite memory of reading to your own child.

The prize is a book from Kane/Miller Publishing Company. We love books at our house. Books are one thing that I don't mind spending money on (much to my husband's chagrin).

My favorite memory of being read to as a child, hands down, is being read to by my maternal grandfather, K. (Obviously, my son is named after him!)

We lived in NY, but spent summertime in MN with my grandparents. Many times I'd sneak a flashlight and sneak into the area by the "pickle cellar" and grab books off of the bookcase there. Things like The Old Man and the Sea and other somewhat musty-smelling volumes.

But before I was in the bed in the basement, my grandpa would read to me. I'd have my bath and climb into his lap in the orange-striped recliner with 2-3 books. I'd snuggle into his chest and inhale his after-shave. He read stories like Put Me in the Zoo and Ten Apples Up On Top.

But he wouldn't just read the book. He'd turn it upside-down and feign ignorance. What do you mean the book is upside-down? He'd try to start reading from the end of the book. What? That's not right?

I can still hear his laughter. I can still smell his after-shave.

He's been gone for 17 years. But I still miss him. I'd love to crawl into his lap and tell him he has the book upside-down. Listen to the street sounds outside as we cuddled in the recliner next to the door. Try to escape his leg-locks after the books have been read.

I think my grandfather's enthusiasm for reading out loud had a lot to do with my love of reading. And since I've had my children, I've discovered how fun it is to read out loud to them. Of course, at night, they both want to be with Dad since they've been with me all day. But last night, M, K and I were in M's room playing Little People (there was a looong line of people waiting for the Ferris wheel which kept them both entertained for longer than you'd think). I found one of the books that my mom had kept from when I was little. I just opened it and started reading.

Soon I found myself shouting I'D LIKE A LOAF OF BREAD! and I'D LIKE A PIECE OF MEAT! It was so fun. The kids were giggling. How else can you read Mr. Noisy?

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Bonnie B said...

That is a great contest-- and a fantastic memory. What a fun grandpa!

My favorite memory of being read to was when my mother and grandmother read Secret Garden to me. They didn't do anything crazy, but it was just nice to sit together on the couch without the TV and listen.

KaB said...

What a precious memory!! .... THANKS for sharing......

Lostcheerio said...

Awesome memory. It's so fantastic when adults can be completely silly with their kids and grandkids -- I hope I'm a very silly grandparent too. :D

-- Lostcheerio at "Keep Your Eye on the Kids" via CHBM

Blogger ate this comment once -- I hope it doesn't appear twice, slightly reworded! Hehehe.

Kara said...

Great description of your memory, I could really visualize it!

Mr. Noisy.... I had that series too! Can you still get those?

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