My youngest sister and her family are visiting from Alabama this week. Although they've had to fend for themselves while I was working, we've enjoyed lots of time talking. Last night, I read her youngest daughter to sleep--the book of poems and song lyrics that Julie Andrews and her daughter published and promoted at last November's NCTE conference. I was eager to have a little one as audience, but I was wary too. I read a few of the poems, then I said, "I have other books too if you'd rather have stories than poems." She assured me that she liked the poems.
Since there's a thirteen-year gap between the my sister Emily and me (and three sisters in between as well), we didn't spend a lot of time growing up in the same house. In fact, this weekend we've talked about that old saying that no two children are raised by the same family. We may be proof of nature over nurture then, since we find so many similarities in our quirks, our likes and dislikes.
We certainly share our love of books. We've spent a lot of time in front of my bookshelves, heads turned sideways, reading the titles. Today as we rode together to High Point to visit the furniture market, her children had their noses buried in books.
My trip to market always gives me the chance to talk to the reps from across the country and the temporary receptionist I only see twice a year. We all get out our notebooks or blackberries and compare reading lists.
Today we also visited another friend's company showroom. I knew from an earlier market visit it had the head of a deer that talked mounted in one of the room settings. Using a remote microphone, one of the employees was able to talk, and the deer--named Buck--moved his mouth, nodded his head, and wiggled his ears. He knew my nephew and nieces' names. He sang "Sweet Home Alabama."
After we left, Lynnsey Beth, the six-year-old, said. That was my favorite things so far. Second was Nancy reading to me last night." I feel anything but sad to come in second to a talking deer. I'm just happy to know that Rodgers and Hammerstein, Joyce Kilmer, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Langston Hughes can hold their own with any generation.