Our Life in Books: Ding Dong, the Bells are Gonna Chime
"Our Life in Books" is a feature I've been meaning to add to this blog for a while -- descriptions of my children's reactions to the books they read -- how they are influenced by them. Some of these may involve Grand Gestures of Cuteness. This is coming from my four-year-old son Jeffrey, and my two-year-old daughter Eleanor.
Yeah, scenes from my home life. This, actually, is what a lot of people wanted when I was being requested to begin a blog. But I wanted to write about the kidlitosphere.
So: the compromise. I'll write about my family only if it has some direct link to children's literature. Like the time I read The Tale of Benjamin Bunny, and I later caught Jeffrey stuffing apples and lettuces from the fridge in a real, actual red handkerchief. Or the time I caught Eleanor kissing a bottle of salad dressing . . . um, but that story is for another post.
For example, take Jeffrey. He's really interested in weddings. A lot of kids his age spend time thinking about family relationships, especially marriage, so this doesn't surprise me. What's interesting is the level of obsession. He's always talking about marrying his best friend Liesl and having four children -- two girls, two boys. "We are falling in loooove," he says.
Yesterday he stumbled out of bed with the stomach flu, stood at the top of the stairs, and announced, "TODAY IS MY WEDDING DAY!" And when it came time to go to bed that evening, he looked at me sadly and said, "Mom, I forgot to marry somebody today." I patted him on the arm and told him that there are always more fish in the sea, and he can always get married another day.
But what has been really interesting is watching Jeffrey make preparations for his upcoming "wedding." When I picked him up from preschool today, he was busy snipping construction paper into bits, "for the wedding." He frequently marches about in his pirate costume and a top hat "for the wedding."
This afternoon, he was spending time playing with my childhood collection of twenty-something Beatrix Potter books (Benjamin Bunny among them), and discovered the dark green hardbacks underneath the white books' dustjackets. Delighted, he then removed all of the books' dustjackets and spent time making elaborate stacks of them around the living room.
When I began to clean up the mess later, he got upset. "Those are decorations for my wedding!" he exclaimed, instantly tearful at the dismantling of his affair.
"But you can have other decorations," I explain. "Wouldn't you like some pretty flowers or music for your wedding?"
"No," he replies, folding his skinny arms and jutting his chin in the air. "Books are the most beautiful decoration."
Couldn't agree more.