Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Out of the Best Books

Gavin brought home an interesting book from the library last week and I finally got around to reading it today.  I started reading it and then had to put it down to pick up kids, help with homework, blah blah blah all the mom stuff.  When I was ready to pick it up again I couldn’t find it anywhere. 

Me:  Gavin, where’s your book?
G:  What book?
M:  The one you were just reading.  The one with the report card on it.
G:  It’s in my backpack.  Tomorrow is library day. 
M:  I better read it fast then! 

I finished it.  Whew!  How sad would I be if I couldn’t finish a 170 some odd page book that my second grader picked up from the school library!  Awesome book.  It is definitely a must read.  It’s called The Report Card by Andrew Clements, the same guy who wrote Frindle

He has this great knack for writing children’s fiction in a way that makes adults think as well.  He writes kids stories about kids for kids in an inspiring way for kids and adults alike.  The Report Card was about the relevance of grades and tests.  It was very interesting especially since the parents were pressuring kids to do well in order to get into a good college.  That is the mentality in my community.  Let’s plan out our children’s lives for them and push them into the Ivy League school of our choice before they can tie their shoes.  I’m not used to this whole affluent community attitude.  Remember, I grew up on the wrong side of the tracks where an actual murder took place at the top of my street and drugs were sold next door. 

I love love love the ending of this book.  I highly recommend this one to any parent, teacher, school administrator, student of public education, and especially librarians. 

The other book I have started reading again is the Book of Mormon.  I started it in November in the hopes to finish it by New Year’s.  I finished sometime around the middle of January.  The challenge was to read for miracles.  I wrote about many of the miracles that happened during that reading challenge.  One miracle has not happened yet.  The best thing that happened from reading was I was prepared for some big challenges.  I feel like my increased spirituality helped me handle the situation well and I was able to move on from it very quickly.  Most challenges in life cannot be planned for.  They just happen like mine did so having unshakable faith sure made it easier to deal with.  Even when my faith wavered a little one day I kept going with the tiniest hope of faith and miracles flooded my family that night. 

Lately I have felt like I need to read the Book of Mormon again.  The kids brought home a challenge from Primary encouraging them to read, or be read, from the Book of Mormon every day.  Gavin has been reading it but it’s a slow process.  The reading level is high and while he can decode the words the comprehension isn’t always there. 

I read the Book of Mormon to both of my boys before their first birthdays.  I never read to Gwen though.  Her acid reflux made feeding time a tearful chore even after I switched from nursing to formula.  It felt like I needed five more hands just to keep the stupid bottle in her mouth and get her to drink.  I tried to listen to a chapter a day while feeding her but between trying to keep her calm and eating and the boys (ages 2 and 4 at the time) being loud as could be outside my room, I felt more angry and stressed than peaceful and spiritual. 

I blogged about it and the general consensus seemed to be that I had to find some way to read to her or my place in hell would be reserved.  Maybe that’s harsh but that’s kind of how I felt with some of the comments I got.  There is no commandment or even suggestion that a parent read the Book of Mormon to their child within the first year of life.  That was a goal I set for myself.  I finally made peace with the fact that I could read to Gwen later.  We had the rest of our lives together for that spiritual bonding moment. 

Never in my wildest dreams would I have guessed her reaction to it!  I read one chapter to her tonight before she went to bed.  She was very interested in everything I said.  I stopped periodically to explain in terms she would understand what was happening.  She would gasp and ooh and ahh over everything!  She is very interested in finding Jesus in the book.  I told her that it’s another testament of Jesus Christ and that it’s all about him.  She gasped again.  Then she begged me to read some more.  I told her I would read one chapter a night but we could read more when the boys were at school if she wanted me to.  Reading to an alert toddler is much different from reading to a sleeping suckling infant.  I’m very excited to finally do this with her. 

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