Tuesday, May 17, 2005

The Gift that Keeps on Giving

I dropped the 'rents off at the airport this afternoon, and about now they should just have taken off from New York heading back to England. It was so great to have them here, and we'll miss them now that they've left.

I came home afterwards and was sitting reading, and realized that this simple pleasure is one of the things I have to thank my parents for. When I was a kid they were always reading. Every week we'd go down to the local library and pick up a whole new pile of books, take them home, read them, and be back again the following week to do it all again. They would lend me their library tickets to enable me to borrow more books than my limit. They would borrow books from the adult part of the library (not that adult section) when I wanted them, but wasn't physically old enough to have tickets for that part. They would only loosely police my room after I'd been told to put my light off and go to sleep after the end of the chapter. They would buy me books for my birthdays and for Christmases. And they would buy and borrow books to help me answer the annoying stream of questions with which I would harass them (When they visit, Sara and my parents bond over how annoying I can be, and this is one of their favorite traits to pick on).

In the neighborhood in which I grew up, I think it's fair to say that hardly any other parents encouraged their children to read in this way. My brother and I both grew up as readers; most other people I knew growing up didn't read then, and almost certainly don't today.

The parenting is so important, and I was so lucky! What a wonderful gift. I wish I knew how we could give this gift to children who are not fortunate enough to have parents like mine.
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