My mother read. As a child, I didn’t appreciate it but now one of my favorite childhood memories is of Mom trying to read in the daytime. She sat at the edge of a chair in the living room ineffectively fending off 4 demanding children. We were wailing or scrapping or knocking things over or clinging to her ankles or climbing on her shoulders. She held one arm out, shielding her book. She gave us a teeny-weeny bit of her attention. “Look, just wait. See here, I’m reading, look, just 2 more pages.”
One night the unfinished business was a problem that made me anxious. To comfort me, my mother told me how it was resolved.
But how did she know?
It turned out that she’d read the whole book! In fact, she’d read most of the books. She was on the last one, These Happy Golden Years. She’d read on without me! I couldn’t believe it. I felt betrayed.
I’ve long since forgiven her. In fact, I’ve long since realized that it wasn’t betrayal at all and that I am a lucky person to have a mother who read.
“Nooo,” said the acquaintance. “My friend already has a book.”
This exchange is part of our family lore. The implication that ownership of a solitary book is fully sufficient has been oft repeated down the generations and always gives both teller and listener a chuckle.
From out of this tribe, of which I am so very fond, I select one person for a special message of the day.
Thank you for reading to me. Thank you for reading to yourself. I’ll see you this afternoon, but I send you my love this morning along with the hope that your day is already quite splendid.
And to reading mothers everywhere - the ones who already have a book, yet somehow continue to acquire more – riverrun sends you very warm wishes for a Happy Mothers’ Day.