Parents second-guess many decisions made when their children were young but we all did the best we could.
Last night I saw a scary movie meant for children and immediately my thoughts went to Chelsey and Katie. When scary movies became too frightening for Katie she would run hide in the bathroom and peek out through the half-inch opening of the door.
Both girls were readers; Chelsey began at three and Katie learned in kindergarten. Chelsey graduated from Babysitters Club books and jumped right into Stephen King. After a time I quit asking if she wanted King’s new book, I just bought it.
Chelsey says, “Once I read my first Stephen King novel, I never went back.”
Chelsey read King, but she also devoured many other writers as well. This took her to college and opened the floodgates to other mainstream and focused genres and those taught her about the world beyond her backyard.
Katie, on the other hand, was big into Egyptology, music, unicorns and art, reading everything she could lay her hands on. She made us all watch archaeology documentaries about the pyramids till we’d groan and swear to her that we had seen that one several times before. We borrowed books from the library and others we bought at bookstores with many coming from yard sales. Katie is now a professor of art in a well-known university.
In my Parents Anonymous group everyone agreed, “Feed into children’s interests while they are growing up and they will be better for it.”
If a child doesn’t love reading but thinks Spiderman and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics are cool then give them comics – any variety – and age appropriate of course.
Mr. Ramirez, worrying about their future, complained about the books and asked “What could our girls learn in those books that will feed them?”
The Parents Anonymous mantra is “trust the group” and the group never let me – or Chelsey and Katie – down.
After all, how many books are too many?