Monday, April 25, 2022

Time to Read

 Q: : Share memories of being read to. Or stories you read to those close to you. Have you written stories for friends or family, not for publication?

- from Susan


Funny, I’m sure I was read to, but when I was really small, my father was in Europe as a WWII radio correspondent and my mother was a radio producer in New York. My rather sent back at least one disc of him talking to me but the disc and my memory of what he said are lost. I can hear my mother’s attractive voice, but she’s gone and I can’t ask her if she read to me. I’ve been a ferocious reader since about five, so I’m pretty sure someone read to me, in any case!


Skip to my being a parent when, yes, I read and read to my sons when they were small  – Winnie the Pooh, Stuart Little, Charlotte’s Web, Mary Poppins  – you name it, all the great ones. When they were reading themselves, they quickly moved on to stories I didn’t read – Treasure Island, others I can’t recall and fantasy fiction for the most part. They are, to this day, ferocious readers who read to their kids when they were younger, long after the boys could read on their own.


But here the links break down because their children are digital adopters and while they read voraciously through middle school, the habit pretty much dissolved after that when cell phones, iPads, and YouTube stepped in. I did score one notable success a few years ago with a gift of The Martian, by Andy Weir, for my grandson who was already interested in engineering. 


Tim Rose, my late artist partner, and I did create a book for all of our grandkids once. It was based on a true event, the time our cat brought a live mouse into the house via her mouth and set it down for me. I picked up the mouse and it was fine, thank you. Sat there in my palm cleaning its whiskers while the cat looked on curiously from a foot away! 


Josh Stallings said...

Winnie the Pooh, Stuart Little, Charlotte’s Web, Mary Poppins, these were the cannon of my childhood as well. What a wonderful gift to your grandchildren. Giving creativity I think shows them what they can do as well.

Susan C Shea said...

Josh, I wonder what kids born 4-5 years ago will grow up on? More diversity in their storybook heroes, which is great. But will they default to Instagram and YouTube at age 8-9? Since a lot of the age group that are their parents are already glued to screens, I am sad.