It’s very fitting for me that Mother’s Day falls during Children’s Book Week this year because of all the many wonderful things I can say about my mom (and there are a lot of them), one of my favorite things is that I got my love of books and reading from her. I don’t know if being a reader is something that can be passed down genetically or if it comes from being raised in a book-loving environment, but either way, I wouldn’t be the book lover I am today without my mom.
My mom raised four daughters, each with very different personalities, tastes, and interests, but all readers. She did that by reading to us throughout our childhoods, (even after we were old enough to read for ourselves), and by filling our house with all sorts of books. Mom almost never said no to buying a new book, (even when the budget was tight). She never made us feel like any book was too hard for us to read, (which might be why I was tackling A Midsummer’s Night Dream in 5th grade), but she also didn’t look down on fun and easy reads either. It didn’t matter if you were reading Jane Austen or Archie comic books. If you were reading and enjoying it, that was the important thing!
And with the arrival of my wonderful nephew, Miles, we get to pass our shared love of books and reading down to a new generation! I know a lot of parents say that they have trouble finding time to read once they have kids but my sister, Ginger, (who is also an amazing mom) actually stepped up the amount of time she dedicates to reading after her son was born because she thinks its important for her son to see her reading and loving great books. She swears by audio books as a great way to get her book fix in while cleaning up or making meals and I think it’s wonderful that Miles is being exposed to great books, like Dumas’ The Three Musketeers, at such a young age because they will feel much more comfortable and familiar to him when he is old enough to tackle them for himself.
Of course, my mom is right there with Ginger, making sure that Miles grows up loving books just like the rest of us did. She is always on the look out for books to add to his library, including many of my favorite kid’s books – new and classic and these other, essential kinds of books that every kid should own. And despite the fact that “Anma” lives in NY and Miles lives in CA, my mom continues the tradition of reading together, using Skype for cross-country story time and making frequent trips and visits so they can read her favorite Jan Brett books together.
There’s so much more I can say about all this but for now, I think I will wrap things up by saying “Thank you Mom for giving me, (among many other things), the incredible gift of reading! I love you!” And I would like to wish all the mothers and grandmothers out there a very happy and blessed Mother’s Day.