In the front entryway in Nana and Grandpa’s house, there is a vent near the floor, near the table that sits right there. At one point there wasn’t a table there, and I discovered in the cold, winter months, when warmth radiated from the vents, it was the perfect place to cuddle up under a blanket and read a book.
I have a very distinct memory of sitting there with this massive book, a type of kid-version of an encyclopedia, called The Big Book of Tell Me Why, which answered the types of questions little kids are prone to ask. It is entirely possible that I read other books in that spot. For some reason, that book in that particular spot has stuck out in my head as a treasured memory.
I have always been an avid reader.
In fourth grade my teacher, Mrs. Goodman, held a Book Bingo challenge. We were each given a sheet with nine squares, each filled in with a different genre, from history to nonfiction, mystery to biography. My chart was soon overflowing with books, especially the fiction section. I could not get enough of tThe Babysitter’s Club series (by the way, there’s a massive collection of them in Nana and Grandpa’s basement waiting for you.) I was one of the top readers for the class, among the five kids in my class who read the most books that year.
Although Mrs. Goodman had to basically bribe me and my friend Sarah to expand our horizons and read more books that were not part of that series.
As I sit here, thinking about what of my favorite spots are and have been, they very often involve books.
When I’m on a beach vacation, nothing complements the sound of the waves crashing against the shore, the warmth of the sun, and the smell of saltwater than a good book in hand.
At our house in Cambridge, the one we lived at when Papa and I got married, and the house that we later brought you home to, my favorite place was early morning on our front porch, a warm mug of coffee and a good book in hand.
For six years I have been part of a book club. It began in the apartment that Papa and I first lived in together. Members have come and gone through the year, as people’s lives have changed and they have moved in and out of the area, or life circumstances have made it more difficult for them to attend. But the feeling is still there, that strong sense of connection and friendship. Every two months or so when we meet I’m surrounded by close friends and great conversation as we discuss the books and the latest news in our lives: proposals, new jobs, marriage, pregnancy.
As I wind down for the evening, snuggled beneath my covers, often one of the last things I do before I go to sleep is read from a book. You will always see a small stack there, for rarely does a day go by that I haven’t read at least one book.
Before your nap and at night, I love to sit in the rocking chair in your room hold you in my lap, your warm, soft body pressed against me as I read and sing to you. From the time you were a tiny newborn, I have always read to you. It felt a little silly when you were so small and weren’t even yet strong enough to hold your head up to look at it, but it has always been part of our bedtime routine.
There was a point in time, perhaps when you were about a year, when you showed very little interest in books, but thankfully that phase passed. Like me, you seem to have a deep love of books and reading. In the mornings when we’re getting ready to leave the house and I peek into your room, you often are sitting there quietly reading a book. It warms my heart to see how special books are to you, and I look forward to seeing what will be your own special book places.
This is month four of the “Who I Am” project. This month the prompt is favorite places and like my previous posts, I wrote this as if I were speaking to Eve (and any other children I have in the future).
The “Who I Am” project is a year-long monthly series that my friend Dana at Kiss My List started, as a way to create a virtual scrapbook of your life to tell your kids, grandkids, spouse, friends, or whoever who you are. You can link up our posts, which goes live the third Tuesday of the month, on either of our blogs, and sign up to receive the prompts at the beginning of each month via e-mail. The themes so far have been Childhood, Love, and Quirks & Habits, and How you’ve changed since you were a child.
What is your favorite place?