I actually don't need to worry about running out of books. I have a huge pile of books that I'm excited to read. I just wish I read faster, so I could get to them all!
But my reading progress is slow. I'm distracted these days.
Initially, my attention span was just poor. I was constantly fretting about our new complicated world of Coronavirus. Now I'm distracted by birds or weeds or cracks in the wall, or things I should be doing. I still feel guilty, reading in the day.
Books for Kids
I've got plenty of books, but some people are running out of things to read. At the beginning of this stay-at-home period, I FaceTimed with one of my favorite families. They were doing well, as I expected.
There are 3 kids in the S. family and they are used to entertaining themselves, with books and games, art and cooking... an unusual family for 2020.
When we chatted in April, they laughed about how they were running out of books and wished they'd had a big trip to the library before lockdown.
So, I ended up digging through a boxful of old chapter books. There were favorites that belonged to my kids and my childhood picks, as well. I was glad that the kids were eager to adopt some of these well-loved treasures.
My Old Favorites
There were three books in the bunch that took me back to 6th grade. Oh how I loved reading the books about the "5th Formers" in their boarding school. I told Hannah that just like her, I was in 6th grade when I read them.
Then I suddenly realized Hannah and I were having a similar 6th grade experience.
Hannah is finishing her last months of 6th grade, schooling from home with her family. She seemed surprised when I told her my 6th grade memories were sort of the same. "I went to school in the fall and then after Christmas, we moved. I learned from home for the rest of the year."
1969 in Italy
I explained that when I was 11, my family moved to Italy, for just a half year. Instead of attempting Italian schools, we packed school books and my mom planned to teach the four kids.
I wish I could find a photo of our dining room table, in the apartment. It was a massive thing, forever buried in books and maps, pencils and paints. Mom gave each of us lessons for a couple weeks. Mostly though, we spent those months following whatever excited us. It was kind of like a quarantine house in 2020, only we had no TV or computer.
Cooped up in the Apartment
We four kids played together and we bickered and teased. We had crazy character tea parties and floated paper boats in the bathtub. We played Blind Man's Bluff and Foosball.
We learned about Dante and Michelangelo and the Medici family, because they were names we heard every day in Florence. We played games with the maps that were pinned to the walls, because we were curious... and bored.
We also quietly did our own thing, in whatever corner we could find.
My seven year old brother painted fantastic scenes of Florence. My older brother focused on learning Italian. My sister played folk songs on her guitar and I wrote my "autobiography" in the attic.
And we read and read and read.
No More Books
I remember running out of things to read and borrowing books from my siblings. A Human Comedy, To Kill a Mockingbird, Up a Road Slowly, A Miracle Worker...
Then our family took a trip to London and the 6 of us spent what seemed like hours in a book store. We came back to Florence loaded with books... in English!
What Did I Read?
I can remember what I read in the winter and spring of 1969. The books I read during that time, I will always associate with Italy.
I hope these kiddos are enjoying a few of these books. I wonder if they'll remember the books they read during lockdown. And will I?
I hope these kids get back to their school in the fall, like I did. I remember starting 7th grade with an enthusiasm for school, that I had never had before!
September seems far away. I so hope there are good surprises in the fall.
Cancer - Covid
I started this complaining list/blog, in May 2016. I posted 200 gripes about my breast cancer and then I was done.
On March 13, 2020, I started venting all over again, when another disease (starting with a C) interfered with my life. Only this time, it was affecting more than me.
Coronavirus and Cancer! Both are evil, but neither can totally get me down... if I vent! I hope with Covid, I run out of complaints before 200!