A Tribute to My Mother
Happy Book Lover Day to all those whose shelves are spilling over with volumes and whose library hold list is longer than the grocery list. This is the day for those who can remember characters and scenes from books as if they were a part of real life because for this reader at least, they are a part of real life.
I owe the origin of my ongoing love of books to my mother. Books were an integral part of my childhood. In our home the bedtime ritual consisted of bath time, tooth brushing, donning snugly pajamas (with footies), and then curling up close to mother as she read us a story. Eventually mother would close the book. We'd beg for more. But mother remained firm. The next chapter would be waiting for us tomorrow night. She would tuck each of us in, kiss us goodnight. I would sigh and close my eyes, wondering what would happen next in the Hundred Acre Wood, if Jim Hawkins would escape Captain Long John Silver, and what magical place Mary Poppins would next take her charges to visit. It was the stuff of dreams. The perfect way to end each day.
Mother planned weekly summer outings to the public library. We would pack up our monstrous load of books and walk to the library. Once we stepped through the doors of our little branch library, we were free to roam. Mother never specified that a book was "only for grownups." If I found a book in any section of the library, it was mine to read. Mother always brought a big quilt with her. We would stop at a nearby park, sit under the shady trees, and open up our treasures. After an hour of reading, we would pack up and stop at a shop which featured delicious custom-made popsicles with unique flavors.
Ah, summer days with new books to read, a shady spot in the park and popsicles. Could there be anything better?