The argument this morning was about getting dressed. My son was in his favorite reading chair, engrossed in the pages of a book, and I insisted that he had to get ready for school, right now, and no, you may not finish the sentence. I was very strict, having been through the just-one-more-page and just-let-me-finish-the-chapter conversations enough times to know that pages inevitably lead to more pages and chapters lead to more chapters. But as soon as he left the room, I broke out into a grin. Because really, what could be a more pleasurable sight than a child ensconced in a book?
I spent my entire childhood that way. I was wan and pale from rarely going outside. The life of the house went on around me while I sat on the couch and read, and read, and read. When my Nana died, I remember my father pulling down the edge of my book to tell me. My response? “Let me finish this chapter."
I remember feeling vaguely guilty about the fact that I didn't spend more time conversing with my parents -- or maybe that's an emotional sheen I added when I was grown. But standing on the other side of the equation, I think my parents probably didn't mind a bit. Avid readers both of them, they probably were grinning just the way I grin at the sight of a child for whom books make a world.