Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Beautiful Mind, Beautiful Words
Before he ever drew an outside breath, he knew books. Before he ever opened his eyes to look at the world, he knew words. Before he ever knew who I was, or saw my face, he knew my voice. He knew words. He knew the joy of the sing song language in a Dr. Suess book.
I cannot begin to imagine, if all the hours were added up, what that amount would come to...how many thousands of hours were dedicated to reading. And of course, animation was required. I don't think I ever even thought about it. I would begin to read and the voices would just flow.
A friend of mine stayed with Joshua and I for about a year while my ex husband worked out of town. One night I was trying to cook supper, but Joshua wanted a book read to him. My friend Lynnie, offered to read. She was five minutes into the book. Joshua gently took the book out of her hands. And told her that it was alright, I could read it to him later. Lynnie looked at Joshua, and hollered into the kitchen to me, "Well, I'm sorry I don't read like Miss Walt Disney in there". She was making a joke, sort of, but I always took pride in being able to bring the written word to life. I loved to watch my boy's faces as I would take the words and the story and bring them to life.
I think Joshua's three favorite books were "The Spooky Old Tree" by Dr. Suess, "The Magic Hockey Skates" and 'I'll love you Forever". I can sit here today, and recite lines and pages out of all three books. I can tell you the minute, his face would begin to light up and his little body would start to quiver with excitement. Because he also knew those books. Line for line. Page for page.
And as he got older, and had been long able to read on his own, he would still bring one favorite collection of stories to me. For me, to read to him. Uncle Remus and the collection of Brer' Rabbit stories. Now I'm here to tell you, to "get into voice" for those stories took a bit. So I would turn off the television, turn off the ringer to the phone, and we would settle in...and read. Both of my boys always knew, if they saw the ringer to the phone get cut off, the fun was about to begin.
Both of my sons love books. They love to read. They love words. They love the magic you find in other worlds, other places, without ever leaving your place on the couch. I have loved those same things, as long as I can remember. I am very proud of many things I have passed on to my children. But my translation of love for words, books and stories, is one of my most proud achievements. That I was able to take my own love for all of those things, and pass it on, completes me.
That my oldest child has taken all of those same things, and with his own beautiful gift, has learned to create his own words, books, and stories, brings me a happiness I cannot begin to describe.
Twenty five years ago this April, I sat in a rocking chair. I sat in a rocking chair reading out loud, and rubbing my stomach. Waiting for the beating heart inside of me to come out. Waiting for the day when I could look at his little face and watch his expressions change. With every word I read. Waiting for the day, when that same beating heart, would put his heart onto paper. And here it is, the day I knew would always come.
His heart has been put to paper, and published in ink. In writer's ink. That will be read by thousands of people. Who no doubt, without ever meeting my son, will be able to hear, that same heart beating in a beautiful sing song rhythm.