The National Science Foundation completed a poll (2200 respondents, which, mind you is a microcosm of a microcosm of our world, so I’ll give you that, but seriously even 220 respondents with these replies should be worthy of worry) and found that 1 out of 4 Americans didn’t know the earth revolved around the sun.
I’m not kidding.
That’s just a wee bit concerning. Downright frightening actually.
I mean really. Didn’t we decide this, oh say back in the 1700’s or so? I’d have to get out the history book to pin it down to the exact date that CW agreed the earth was not really the center of the Universe. But I’m fairly certain Copernicus lived a while ago. And I’m fairly certain this issue was laid to rest shortly thereafter. (CW is short for conventional wisdom. I didn’t know this for the longest time and kept wondering who the heck “CW” was.)
And kudos to me for using one of our vocabulary words of the week–microcosm. We’re learning Greek and Latin word roots and are on the section relating to “More or Less.” Micro being the less I would assume.
And in the realm of children paying back to the adult all the grief the adult paid to their parent when said adult was a child, I have now created such a monster that I really don’t know what to do. The dear darling diva of a daughter that inhabits this abode was read to by her parents from the moment she entered the family as a wee one. Actually, in all honesty, she was read to in utero. When I was pregnant, I had a friend with a daughter that was the most adorable, precocious, brilliant, magnificent child I’d ever encountered. I asked her what she’d done for Cora to turn out so incredibly incredible. She told me she listened to a lot of Mozart. Me being me, I thought that sounded like a smart thing to do, so I tried to listen to classical music. Only problem was that I didn’t (still don’t) care for classical music. I’m more of a jazz girl. Frank Sinatra. I would have been a Frank groupie if I would have been lucky enough to have been born a couple of generations earlier. Be still my heart. So, I figured that jazz and Frank might do the trick. And books. Lots of books.
So what the heck am I babbling on about this time? Well, all of those books from the very beginning of this child’s life must have somehow wired some pretty funky neurons. Her favorite toys in those first months when she’d discovered toys were little board books, just perfect for tiny hands. And we spent hours, truly hours, reading together. When we got in the car (which was all the time given where we live) I packed bags of books. She’d go through them one by one, dropping them over the side of her carseat onto the floor. It was so annoying having to pick up all those books. But I just kept on. One of her favorite things to do was go to the back room, sit down by the bookshelf and one by one, pull every book off, look at it and put it to the side. Again, I had to pick up all those books. Her other favorite thing was to drag a pile of those books over to Timmy’s bed (my beloved Springer Spaniel who was her BFF until he died in March 2010), sit there next to him and read him every last one. She’d show him the pictures and tell him the story, just like we’d read earlier. Course, she would also dress him up in her dress-up clothes and put stickers all over him to decorate him. That dog would let her do anything and always lay there like the perfect gentleman. (Timmy, love, wherever you are and whatever you are doing at this moment, know that I am indebted to you and forever grateful for your kind guardianship.)
Anyway, books, books, books were the theme of our life. And today, we cannot leave the library, any library, without huge (HUGE) bags full of books.
And, to get right to the point of my story, the monster that I’ve created is this. A bookworm. She has to have a book in hand at every second. I have to repeat myself three, four, umpteen times when I ask a question. I cannot get her to put the books down.
I know this is not a bad thing. I know this is a brilliant thing. But dang if it isn’t annoying when I’m trying to get her to tell me if she wants peas or mixed vegetables for dinner.
I know it’s only a matter of time before I walk back to her room one night and find her hiding in the closet with the lamp inside, reading a book, way into the “wee small hours of the morning.” (One of Frank’s greatest by the way.)
And that right there is the payback. So mom, if you’re out there, know that all the grief I caused you by getting distracted by a book when you told me to clean my room, by not answering you the first time you called or asked me a question because my nose was in a book, by being bloody exhausted the next day after staying up reading in the closet when I should have been sleeping is coming back around. Know that I now understand. And I’m sorry.
But also, thank you mom for instilling in me a profound love of and reverence for books so that I can now pass on that adoration to the darling diva.
Tonight, while I was making dinner, she drug her pink “reading chair” (Christmas gift from all the grandparents) to the kitchen, added a footstool, a blanket, a pillow, her water bottle, the latest “How to Train Your Dragon” chapter book from the library trip today and said to me “This is the life!”
Yes, darlin’, this is the life! And I thank you for sharing it with me.
(And yes, she knows the earth revolves around the sun. Books, I’m telling you what. They’re invaluable.)