Thursday, March 11, 2010

Love Thursday: I Would Read It Here And There, I Would Read It Anywhere

You may recall that I lamented my lack of productivity over the weekend. Yes, I was a whiny-baby. Yes, I was all "I had so many things happen and I had a list as long as Julia Roberts' legs and I didn't accomplish any of them waaaahhh!" But! Something Important happened this weekend. And it happened in the waiting room of the MedCheck.

The waiting room of the MedCheck is set up like many waiting rooms; there was a larger room with two televisions (both tuned to CNN) and a smaller room, fitted with a tiny table, two small chairs and two adult size chairs, a small television, plus a book shelf filled with children's books and Highlights magazines. This is the standard waiting room I have found in these situations. There's a long wait and the possibility of more than two children and their accompanying parents waiting, so for some reason, there's a closet sized waiting room set up to accommodate wee ones. I know space is at a premium, but seriously, how much room does a grown-up need to sit? Not much. A couple of square feet, I'd venture. But a small child? They need approximately half an acre proportionate to their age and motility. I'm certain that these waiting rooms are designed by childless aged architects that take great glee in yelling 'Hey! You kids get off my lawn!'

Anyway! As Mary and I were sitting there in the grown-up waiting room, waiting for our names to be called, somehow, the sound of Spongebob Squarepants traveled through Mary's bulging eardrums and down her puss-filled ear canals. Because as we were sitting there listening to CNN on two televisions, she cocked her head and said to me, "What is that sound? Is that Spongebob Squarepants?" And I thought that perhaps her hearing had been miraculously restored. But then I realized that Squidward's voice probably travels on a different frequency than mine and is able to overcome Otitis Media, whereas my voice sounds like the whisper of the wind unless I've uttered the words 'ice cream.' Then all bets are off.

Quickly realizing that the small, as yet unoccupied waiting room could be a boon, I agreed with her suggestion that we pick up our coats and wait there. Little did I know what awaited me.

As we got settled in, Mary explored the tiny space and then came back to me, asking to sit on my lap. We snuggled up and got about the business of waiting. But then, Mary spied the bookshelf. She got off my lap and walked toward it, as if drawn by a magnet. I understand this phenomenon completely, as I have a very large magnet in my body that has been known to not only draw me to book shelves, but also to completely erase any comprehension of the world around me once I have a book in hand. I am utterly sucked in.

She looked over the shelves and traced her fingers lightly over the covers. Finally, spying a brightly colored book, she brought it over to me. She pointed to a word. "And," she said. "That word says 'and.' "

"Yes!" I exclaimed.

"What do the other words say?"

"Sound this one out," I said, pointing to a small word.

"H-a-m," she said. "HAM! That says ham!"


"Mama, will you read this to me?" she asked, climbing onto my lap.

I pulled her close and told her that this book was special. This was the first book I could remember listening to while I was sitting on my own mama's lap, I told her. I said that I thought she could probably read lots of words in this book.

Her eyes lit up and she said, "Really?!" as she turned the first page.

"I am Sam," she read and she quickly turned the page.

As we sat there in the waiting room, she read several pages of the book and I commented on how amazed I was that she was reading so well. She laughed when I told her that she was growing up too fast and that I was going to ask the doctor for a special brick to put on her head that would stop her from growing.

We were both disappointed when the nurse called our names and we had to leave the book behind. I told Mary that it was okay, we had that book at home.

But when we got home, I couldn't find it anywhere. Great big tears welled in her eyes.

"But mama! You told me you had it! I've been waiting to read that book! I've been waiting my whole life to read!"

I immediately told my husband that I needed to make a trip to the book store, stat! He agreed. Within thirty minutes I had purchased "Green Eggs and Ham," returned home, and sat snuggled on the couch with Mary, my newest reader. As we sat there, she giggled at the silliness and we talked about how the nameless main character was a lot like her and didn't like to try new foods. She read sentences and re-read them, adding expression. She sounded out words and when that strategy failed, she'd turn her eyes up to me and ask what the word was.

And when she was finished, she closed the book, shut her eyes and sighed. "That was awesome!" she declared.

Indeed it was, little girl, indeed it was. May this be the beginning of a long and beautiful love affair with books. Even if I do find the copy I already have, $8.95 seems like a very small price to pay for giving you something that can bring you so much.

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