I was the type of child who makes adults say, “You just wait until you have children of your own—I hope they’re just like you.”
My mother often stated that while one of us might survive until my 18th birthday, she doubted both of us would.
This might have been true if it weren't for books. Reading and writing were the only times I sat still long enough to stay out of trouble.
...Though there were plenty of phone calls home about getting caught reading during math, science, history, spelling… and even reading. Yes, it takes a special talent to get in trouble for reading during reading class. Apparently you aren't supposed to ignore the kid who’s reading aloud and just forge ahead… Apparently it’s not okay to decide the excerpt in the anthology isn't enough and get up in the middle of a story discussion to see if the whole novel is in the classroom library…
Luckily, I got in less trouble as I got older. By the time I was a senior in high school, my yearbook superlative was “class angel.” This isn't to say I wasn't reading during algebra, bio, chemistry and world civ…. I’d just gotten much better at hiding it. And writing poems in my French notebook totally looked the same as copying verb conjugations off the board.
I can think of only one time that I was caught in high school – that’s when I decided that a movie-day in Chemistry was a great time to finish reading A Separate Peace. The movie ended. The lights turned back on. I was holding the book with tears still pouring down my sob-splotchy face. I think the teacher thought my ugly-crying was punishment enough…
This morning I rescued one of my toddler twins from the third shelf of our bookcase—meanwhile, his brother was removing his diaper and running laps around the kitchen yelling: “Nudie! Nudie!” As soon as they had all four feet on the ground (and clothing on) the first thing they demanded was “Book! Snuggle!” – yup, my children are just like me. I wouldn't have it any other way.