Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Twain is Timeless

Thank god my kids love books and reading.
I remember the way my dad's voice sounded.  I can hear it in my memory, like a long-forgotten sweet lullaby.  Soothing. Calm. Smart. Safe.  That was my dad as he read book after book to my sister, brother and me when we were kids.

The entire Little House on the Prairie series. Oh how we loved those books.  My sister and I would recreate the scenes my father read to us.  Of course, being the older, wiser, calmer one, my sister would get to be Mary Ingalls.  And of course, being the irrational, emotional, impulsive one, I would be Laura Ingalls.  We totally fit the parts.

My father read so many books to us.  Sometimes I would hang on every word, so deep into the story I couldn't wait to find out what happened next. Begging for "just one more chapter, pleeeeaaassee!"  Other times, I played with my toys while he read.  Sorry to say, but I wasn't a fan of The Hobbit series.  (Never was and still am not.)  

He read Watership Down to us (when I was 6 years old), The Call of the Wild, The Chronicles of Narnia and more.

Those nights were the launching pad for my imagination.  Those nights were also the foundation for some of my sweetest childhood memories.  

There's something special about reading aloud to your kids.  Experiencing and rediscovering the joy of a story together. Now I have the great privilege of experiencing that joy with my own children.  And believe me I feel honored. 
I just got done reading The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn to my oldest two children, Peyton (age 10) and Lucy (age 8).

It was an edited "child-appropriate version" that someone had given Peyton as a gift.  We laughed at some of the crazy things that went on in Huck's life.  We were appalled together about slavery and the treatment of Jim.  We had silly discussions one minute and extremely moving, deep discussions the next.  

My children amazed me with their empathy and compassion.  I feel as if I know their hearts better after sharing this experience with them.  

"Can you read the Harry Potter series to us?," Peyton asked after I was done.  He has read all the books, but said he "wants to hear it all together."  

"Are you kidding me?," I asked excitedly.  "Of course I will, I can't wait."

What are you reading to your kids?

This is a good site/resource to help get some ideas for books for your kids to read on their own and for everyone to read together-ReadKiddoRead.com

And just for fun, the oh so quotable Mark Twain:

"Man will do many things to get himself loved; he will do all things to get himself envied."
Mark Twain just summed up Facebook

"Always do right. That will gratify some of the people, and astonish the rest."

"The political and commercial morals of the United States are not merely food for laughter, they are an entire banquet."

I mean come on, this is so true today.  Twain is timeless.

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