Sunday, May 9, 2010

To Our Mothers

Happy Mother's Day
to our moms
You may have tangible wealth untold;
Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.
Richer than I you can never be -
I had a mother who read to me.
~Strickland Gillian

~ Mindy ~

When I found out I was having a little girl of my own, some of the first books I purchased were the Anne of Green Gables boxed set. At a very young age, I remember my mom reading this series to my sister and I while we were snuggled in our bunk beds, hanging on her every word.

I am a red-head (in both hair and nature) and so it wasn't hard to cast myself in the role of one Miss Anne Shirley. I lived those books as my mom read them to me. I was the Lady of Chalot. I lost Rachel Lynde's cow and won the Rollings Reliable Baking Powder Contest. My mother had a way of reading that sparked our imaginations and led us straight into Avonlea, face to face with Marilla, Anne, and the oh so dreamy Gilbert Blythe. Thank you, Mom, for introducing me to so many amazing books! I am glad, now that we are both older and wiser, that we can share our love of books together. I love you. Love, Mindy

~ Kari ~

My childhood memories wouldn't be complete without a scene of my mother reading, four children piled on her lap, spilling over the sides, her arms reaching as far as possible so that all four of us could see the pictures of the library book she was reading. We'd sit there for hours going through a stack so large I don't know how we were able to get it home from the library. This is one of my happiest memories and happened at least two or three times a week.

My favorite book though, amidst the thousands we read, is Love You Forever by Robert N. Munsch. My mother would sing the little lullaby in the story. Then and now I could feel the truthfulness of those words and the conviction in her voice. Mom, you are a major reason I learned to read and love to read. I love you! Love, Kari


~ Dan ~

I don't remember when I first learned to read, but I do have a first memory of reading. I remember nestling deep in the blankets of my parent's water bed and trying to follow the tiny black print as my mom read me The Hobbit, one chapter a night, as a bedtime story. I was four, maybe, or five, and hearing my mother’s voice soon made Tolkein’s imaginary world as real to me as the world I inhabited the rest of the day.

By the time she had gotten to Return of the King a few months later, I was sneaking into her bedroom during the day to take the book off the shelf and try to read ahead. I wasn't able to puzzle out more than a page or two, but that didn’t matter—I was reading, and I’ve never looked back, except to thank my mom for taking the time to show me the wonders that lie beyond the gate of an open book.


~ Kim ~

When I sit down to read (every spare moment I get), I often wonder what I can do to make sure that my children grow up knowing the joy of books. All books. As I think about this, I remember my mother reading me book after book, story after story, and I remember losing myself in my own imagination as she brought each word to life. I remember Where the Sidewalk Ends, and wondering if I really could be eaten by a boa constrictor. I remember The A-Z of Mammals and her reading bits to me so I would know what animals were in the pictures. And, perhaps my favorite, I remember a book called The Simple Prince. I still cannot determine what is was I so loved about this book, but something about the way we read it together has stuck firmly in my mind for over 25 years. I remember it line by line.

Dear Mom, Thank you for everything you have given me. Your time, your praise, your compassion, and mostly your love. Thank you for being a reader, and supporting me with all my reading endeavors, even when you were unsure a 12-year-old should be reading Patricia Cornwell. I love you.


~ Heather ~

The one story I remember my mother reading frequently to my sister and I is Where the Wild Things Are. It was with this book that I realized the power of reading. Just by opening the cover you can escape to another world -- wherever you want to go surrounded with whoever you choose. And thus my love of books began. Thanks Mom, for helping to write this chapter of my life.


~ Emily ~

It often happened that everyone in my family would be sitting around reading on a Sunday afternoon. This family of fast readers can only give credit to our mother. But what I want to talk about is a little lesson that my mom may have innocently and inadvertently taught me. At some point in the late 90s I realized a trend. My mom would get a book or two for Christmas and then in early January she'd be struck down with a energy sapping illness. Coincidence? Probably, after all, she did look pretty miserable when I'd peak in the bedroom...but...

Nowadays, when I really need/want to read a book, or do any other "me" type of activity, I remember that our lives went on while my poor mom recuperated in her room with a good book. And you know what? While my young kids do need a bit more daily assistance than I did as an older teenager, the other stuff, the house...and um, house, can wait just a few more chapters while I recoup from whatever ails me. My mom taught me to love reading, and she also taught me to "do what is best for you." And she also taught me that when the book is over, get up and finish the dishes.


Don't forget to thank the woman in your life for all that she has done for you!


Kara and Chant said...

Love all those books! Love you forever is one I read to my children all the time. And I always cry. I was wondering if any of you have read Water for Elephants or The Zookeeper's Wife. I really appreciate your reviews and I am especially appreciative that you include if there is a lot of bad language or sexual content. Thank you!

MindySue said...

Dear Kara,
Glad you liked it. I haven't read The Zookeeper's Wife but I have read Water for Elephants (pre Reading for Sanity). It was okay, but I would probably have only given it a 3 because there was some sexual content that I was uncomfortable with. I don't remember if language was an issue or not. That's just my opinion (and my memory). Does anyone else want to chime in?

Sweet Em said...

I wouldn't recommend the book, which has a great plot/story, to many people because of the sexual content. The sex is not surprising considering its a circus crew, but it would be (very) awkward to discuss with your mother. Any language that I remember was associated with said sex. All that said, it was a good book - if they ever made a PG-13 movie I'd definitely go see it.

MindySue said...

Now Em, on behalf of circus people everywhere, I'm offended. ;)

Sweet Em said...

Min - I'm surprised I didn't know about your circus past but I can guess which act you had... ;)

Heather said...

I really enjoyed Water for Elephants. The storyline was original and captivating. But I would agree that there was a couple awkward sexual scenes that may offend if you are sensitive to that in your reading. I did in fact recommend it to my mother (and several others) because I don't feel those few scenes trump the storyline and the tantalizing characters.

Kara and Chant said...

Thanks for all the comments about Water for Elephants. You guys are amazing!

Karmen said...

Thanks for the tribute to your mothers - very sweet to read how early books and reading with mothers touched your lifes. I loved Water for Elephants and agree with my daughter, Heather (above comment). Love you and thanks Heather! I joined a small book club and we often look at your blog to get ideas and read your reviews. Awesome job! Karmen Williams


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