November brings with it cooler weather, leaves of gold and the feeling of thanks in the air. It’s the perfect time to begin a practice of gratitude. You Know Neen is hosting the 2nd Annual 30 Days of Gratitude blog series, a place where the experience of gratitude will be explored and shared. I, along with several other contributors will be sharing our thoughts on all things gratitude.
Written by: Kim Cavill
Books were my first love. One of my earliest memories is memorizing a story by listening to it on cassette, then telling my mother I could read. She dutifully listened as I “read” the story, and watched me turn the pages at the right time. I was so proud! Then she asked me to read out another book and, of course, I couldn’t.
I was crushed. I longed to read books on my own, because I just knew they were really, really special.
As I got older, I read several years ahead of my grade level. Exasperated teachers repeatedly forbid me to finish assigned novels ahead of schedule, so they sent me scouring through library shelves, looking for hidden treasures. Lois Lowry, Judy Bloom, Ray Bradbury, Jerri Spinelli, and countless other wonderful authors became my best friends.
When I moved towns in the middle of 5th grade, I was very lonely. I made no friends and spent all of my time reading. My mother tried to get me out of the house, going so far as to ground me from the library for a week. I was a lost cause, though. I was in love.
Each book is a love story between the writer and the reader. They’re love stories because books, by their very nature, tell us that we are not alone. When Harry Potter walks into the dark forest in the Deathly Hallows, I walk by his side, then he by mine when I need to be brave. When Bill Bryson tromps along the Appalachian Trail, I trudge right along while he reminds me to laugh, even when everything goes to shit. Some books expand my knowledge. Others show me how big my heart is. A rare few do both.
My oldest child recently turned six. Though I bought him a toy he’d been asking for, the greatest gift I could give was reading him the first chapter of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. I whispered with Dumbledore, I cried with Professor McGonagall, and I watched my beautiful son fall in love with the magic of words.
I am grateful for books, stories, and the storytellers. Like Rita Mae Brown, “When I got my library card, that’s when my life began.”
Kim Cavill writes the blog Sex Positive Parent. Read more of her insightful posts at http://www.chicagonow.com/sex-positive-parent
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