As I child, I loved being read to and still love it today. When I’m too tired to read to myself but I want to hear more voices and stories than my eyes will allow, I ask my husband or daughter to read to me from whatever they are reading. To me, there’s nothing quite as nice as hearing the soothing flow of someone else’s words.
Some of my happiest memories involve being read to — snuggling up close to my grandmother to listen to Blueberries for Sal; sitting on the green couch with white flowers next to my sister while she read me a chapter of Pippi Longstocking; listening to my mother read to me from A Child’s Garden of Verses — these are some of the best memories I have of being little.
Beyond being read to, I love catching people reading to each other, especially if one person is quite a bit older than the other. Today in school, I caught some high school boys reading stories to kids in the 2nd grade. A tall boy read A Fine, Fine School. Another boy read one of my favorites, Not Norman.
The children sat in a loosely clumped circles around the high school boys, like rings around the center of a tree, and listened.
For a few minutes, the bigger boys forgot that they were in Public Speaking class, lost in both the memory of 2nd grade and the new experience of being in the teacher’s chair. Meanwhile, the adults in the room quietly looked on, assured of a certain kind of continuity brought about by the sharing of stories.
Outside, rain quietly fell.