Adventures in Reading

January has come and almost gone. Throughout it, I have been lusting for adventure. This is as close as I’ve come,

I’ve transitioned from pouting about being house-bound, to falling into the doldrums, to nestling in to a quieter sort of adventure. Where I am immersed in grand stories filled with explorations and discoveries, communicated to me by authors, my kids and even myself.

Oh, how thankful I am to read a really great book, one that sits with me, speaks to me long after the last page has been turned. I began searching for a ‘light’ read. Unfortunately, that led to Sophie Kinsella’s book An Undomestic Goddess which I had on hand. Light, my friends, does not have to mean dumb. Which this book was. To its core. I despised every moment that I was reading it, and in the end skipped to the end to see what happened.

My quest was on to find a smart, light read.

Which I found in Brian Selznick’s The Invention of Hugo Cabret. Absolutely breathtaking, brilliant book. A story in words, and in pictures, part mystery, part character study. I truly was swept away into this world. I look forward to seeing the movie too once it’s out on DVD.

In other big reading news, Kaya is reading now. Whole books! Remember these?

Every time she begins to sound words out, putting letters together, forming words, then sentences, my heart literally clenches, my breath literally catching. Joyous pride mixing with shock at the passing of time.

My girl, she can read!

My girl, she can read?

My girl, well she’s also something of an artist. Taking her home-reading book & buddy, she draws what she read, then writes what she read too.

Yah, my girl she can also print…

Time for Daddy to put away his Tap that Ass Tshirt.

On Friday I asked Kaya what another Mommy helped out with in class that day. She told me they were writing their ‘favourites’ sentences. As in,

My favourite colour is __________.

My favourite food is __________.

My favourite song is ___________.

Kaya told me her answers. Pink, of course.

Bacon. Huh? I ask her why she said bacon. She tells me another girl did so she did. We have another talk about how she doesn’t need to copy everyone else and just to give her own honest answer. She tells me she wants to say rice. That’s my girl.

And favourite song? I ask her. She gets quiet. “Baby Beluga” she whispers. Hmmm, that hasn’t been your favourite song in forever, I suggest. How did you know to write Beluga? “I just wrote Baby” Which is when I knew. Her favourite song was not meant to be Baby Beluga as her teacher had assumed, it was Justin Bieber’s ‘Baby’ that was her favourite, which Kaya confirms with a twinkle and a giggle. Hilarious.

Brennyn, as always, playing catch-up, reading me stories too, though I’d suggest it’s more in Beat Poet form, mixing wheels on the bus and rainbows everywhere with twinkling stars and oh yes, a little ‘Like baby, baby, baby oh…’ too.

This, actually, forms one of those truly great moments that will forever stay in my brain. Cozied up in bed finishing the last 30 pages of Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (another great read though by no means ‘light’) Brennyn comes in wanting my attention. At first, I am annoyed as I just want to finish my book, but I see she just wants some Mamma cuddles so I suggest she goes to get books so she can read beside me too. She grins and toddles off to get some books, then crawls up and nestles in to read beside me. Of course, I get no reading of my own done at this point what with all her beat poet slamming. Then Kaya comes in, Hello Kitty headphones on and Justin Bieber blaring, cozying up amongst us.

I sink further into the pillows, blankets, and my two girls and just gaze at these two kooky, brilliant characters, knowing that I am immersed, this very moment, in the greatest adventure of all.

My family.

Library Dues

There is a victory of sorts in that final book being pushed through the slot, hearing the *thud* and moving on to the next story. Today’s drop comes with a sense of relief also. For this summer I have not left the teen fiction section of the library. Shorter, usually easier reads that are as equally absorbing and gripping as their adult equivalent means perfect summer reading.

But it also means angst. Teenage dramatic angst.

I have read stories this summer about not fitting in (The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian), suicide (Thirteen Reasons Why), boys (3rd and 4th Summers of the Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants), and finding oneself (I Am the Messenger). Brilliant or entertaining novels in their own right but angst and me are thru. (For now at least)

Time for some adult fiction.

Only as I browse through the fiction shelves, the only books I’m finding are on displacement, death, relationships and spirituality. Angst otherwise known as mid-life crisis then.

Requiring something uplifting, or fun, or just plain silly, I give up on adult fiction and head straight for the kids section.

Where the great philosophical questions of the day are Can You Make a Piggy Giggle? or How Does a Dinosaur Say Happy Birthday?

Where adventures include meeting a martian on the moon or creating art, lizard style.

Linguistically simple. Imaginatively complex. Making for reads compelling and gripping still. Minus the angst.

Forget my kids, this is exactly what I need. Autumn days lounging on library floors, scooping up a dozen picture books at a time, then heading home to spread out the goods and absorb brilliance. All before nap time.Three weeks from now, as we drop these books in the return slot, we will no doubt be in a new stage. Maybe feeling mysterious. Could be crafty. Possibly deep or dark. Regardless my mood, I know the library has always got the next story covered.