Friday, September 26, 2014

'Harris and Me' by Gary Paulsen

Sometimes I read children's books. There. I admitted it, my big secret. I am a closet children's book reader. So sue me.

Tonight, I pulled a book off Nick's shelf. There stood books that had waited for a couple years, books I doubt he'll ever read. It's a shame too. I read the first two chapters of Gary Paulsen's book, 'Harris and Me.' Oh man. I was hooked by the time old man Louie scarfed the first nine pancakes at breakfast. What this guy writes is alive. But I'm only Nick's mom and I can't make him like reading at this point. If I encourage him, he'll just think it's an attempt to educate him. Well, I am, but there's something else he's missing that I can't seem to get across.

I love to be so far into a story that my life peels away and I'm somewhere else. After reading a little bit of 'Harris and Me,' I'm solidly in my own childhood.

I'm living a lie. I'm not all grown up and living in a cultured neighborhood. I'm not. I'm still that kid who ran barefoot through the woods, the one who had a crush on her brother's best friend. I'm the kid who climbed trees and spit. I'm the kid who pressed melted tar with her big toe in the street to feel it squish. I'm the kid who poked a hog nosed snake with a stick to see him play dead. I swatted flies with a wire fly swatter while my grandma sat in the squeaky porch swing and grandpa talked so much that most of his cigarette hung precariously between his forefinger and thumb as ash almost an inch and a half long clung before it shook loose. If allowed, I would put five layers of jelly on my flaky biscuits. And yes, I even pulled six legs off a granddaddy long legs to see if it could walk on two like I did.

I love when any book makes me remember me more clearly. I needed that.

Thank you for listening, jb

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