When I started kindergarten, at a parochial school in Chicago, I was the only child that did not speak English. I am pretty sure that I wasn't reading then either.
By the time I was in 2nd grade we had moved to the suburbs and my teacher encouraged my mother to enroll me in summer school for reading enrichment. The children of the suburbs were born and bred there and I, as an immigrant, was lagging behind. It was that summer where I lost myself within the covers of Charlotte's Web, with my teacher's help. It was the first novel I was able to read and absorb on my own.
In the third grade I was placed in a remedial classroom for children with learning disabilities. I spent the entire year reading and writing and hoping to move out of that "special wing" of the elementary school. At the end of the school year, my story entitled The Dancing Shoes won the Illinois Young Author's Award. This only ignited my obsession.
Even before coming to America, when my father was collecting scrap metals on the streets of Austria, my parents found some way to afford to read to us. We begged my mother at bedtime to finish the entire fable and did not allow her to save the rest for another day.
In high school my mother would storm into my bed room to shut off my light. I would kneel by my door in darkness, waiting to hear her gently slumbers, before jumping back into bed with John Irving in my hands.
Today not much has changed. I do not own a bookmark for there is no need for one. I must finish a book. That. Is. All.
My children were neglected this weekend due to my selfish obsession.
I filled up the kiddie pool with water and listened to them play for four hours, before being interrupted by my husband coming home from work. "The kids are freezing, it is only 72 degrees." He greeted us Saturday afternoon. The kids did not complain.
Sunday morning, I set out all the ingredients for French toast and had every intention of going back to prepare breakfast. Lola beat me to it.
curiosity, "We fought over who got to sleep with the dogs - Tinkle, the Jack Russell terrier, and Pippin, a curly-haired mutt who had wandered down through the woods one day - because they kept us warm."
My husband cooked dinner and took the kids out for ice cream while I silently curled up on the couch in the evening. He put Fifi to bed much earlier than usual and I allowed the kiddos to watch E.T. and stay up much later than usual.... "The Glass Castle" never left my side. "Mama. Mom! Mama, E.T. has super magical powers." Lola repeated for the gazillionth time awakening me from the Appalachian mountains the novel is set in. "Mama, moooommy... just like Jesus coming alive again." She continued. Wha? E.T. like Jesus? Good connection, I suppose. Her Christian preschool way more influential than I originally thought.
The kids went to bed without brushing their teeth. Shhhhh... don't tell their dentist. I stayed in bed to finish Jeannette Walls's memoir. I smiled out loud and tossed up the book in excitement at the ending. It was 9pm and the book was completed in 24 hours. I started to wrap it up to send to an awesome Canadian as a book exchange. Only then did I realize that I completely stood up my awesome girlfriend for our date to see "Sex in the City." Sorry Anna.
My name is OHmommy and I am a bookaholic.