Bookish spirit - FamilyEducation

Bookish spirit

December 04,2009
Professor Mom
Aliki McElreath

Aliki is a writer and college English teacher. She lives in North Carolina with her husband, two children (ages seven and ten), a dog, a cat, a rabbit, and too many fish.

Do you hear that huge sigh? That's me, happy to have made it to Friday. I started the week off feeling miserable--teaching and bronchitis do NOT mix well together, but a visit to the doctor, and a hefty round of antibiotics have done wonders. I know my students are probably sighing with relief, too--relief that they won't have to listen to me hacking my way through another class. Anyway, between the coughing and the teaching and various deadlines for this and that and feeling absolutely exhausted most of the day, I am woefully behind in all things Christmas-shopping-related, and my Christmas spirit is not where it usually is this time of the year. But yesterday I stopped by the annual Scholastic Book Fair at L.'s school, and helped him browse for a book he wanted to buy (with half his money, and half ours--why is it all things Lego-related cost so darn much?). L. and I found this book for T., which is perfect, really, since both kids have recently come home singing that old timeless holiday classic, Jingle bells, Batman smells, Robin laid an egg...we use L.'s school book fair every year as a way for him to find a gift for his sister, even if I usually end up doing most of the hunting and the paying for. While I stood there, among the tables and tables of books, and the happy and excited kids snatching up and exclaiming over the glossy covers, I began to feel the spirit creeping in. I love seeing kids so excited about books, and I remember feeling the same excitement when I was young--the thrilling promise of a new book, and the time--oh the time you have when you're a child, to devote to hours of being lost in a book. I think there will be a lot of book-giving this year, at least from us. Last night T.'s school held a family night at a local bookstore and I had the chance to do more browsing, and bought several titles for assorted cousins and relatives. There are so many wonderful books out there. I have this one on L.'s list (he just devours visual dictionaries), and several early readers chapter books for T. like this one, and this one (am I the only parent who just finds all the different Rainbow Magic fairies confusing? I can't keep them straight for the life of me...). L. has also recently discovered the Warriors series, and doesn't own any of the books yet, so I'm thinking the boxed set of the first few books would be a good addition to his Christmas list. I also really, really wanted to buy this book for the kids, since we have the original Auntie Claus book and L. and T. love it, but I had to put it back on the shelf, alas--the kids were with us, and this time of the year it's hard to justify buying anything at all unless it' a gift. And me? I have a growing list of books I want, of course. But more than anything in the world I would love to be a child again, curled up in the corner of the sofa in my parents' living room, near a blazing fire, lost in the colorful and captivating world of a good Christmas book. Happy weekend!