Along with high blood pressure, stroke, and diabetes, literacy runs in the family. (Thank goodness we'll have stuff to read in the hospital, right?)*
A lot of my bookwormness is because of my siblings. I had a lot of sisters influencing my impressionable mind, especially regarding the Emily books. There was Erin, with whom I can now speak a sort of fairyland code, who gives me Jimmy books. There was Bekah, who told me once that I remind her so much of Emily she doesn't need to read the books. There was Rose, fighting over the copies with me, sharing our mutual love of literature. The Emily books are a sacred tradition amongst the Robinson women. Of course, there is my brother too. I am fairly certain he never read the Emily books, but we do have an ongoing book thieving tradition. I have often wanted to read one of my books only to realize that Alex has it in Phoenix. Which was fine, cause I have half a shelf of his books with me.
My dad also has a habit of stealing whatever book I am reading at the time. I thought when I was little he was making sure it was appropriate, probably because I was reading things that aren't meant for preschool toys. As I have grown, though, the practice continued. This last thanksgiving break I was home and also trying desperately to catch up in Dracula. Every time I wanted to read it I had to go steal it back from daddy. And when we were talking about our road trip this summer and I was all excited about the two way music indoctrination that will soon occur, all Dad wanted to talk about was the books we were gonna read. Last of the Mohicans. Bam.
Most of the family literacy comes from momma, though. My mom is a bookworm. She succesfully spawned a whole new generation of new bookworms, and that is one of my favorite things about her. I can't even remember all the books my mom read to me as a kid. We would always have a book to read together while we waited for my bus to come in elementary. We spent countless hours in the car, mom driving and me reading, mom correcting my pronunciation, me scowling and then doing the same thing to all my friends. Mom told me it was okay that I read my books to pieces because I have "love affairs with my literature."Especially when we didn't get along, I can say from experience that our reading tradition was better therapy than therapy. My momma taught me the power of words, as well as the importance of saying them correctly.
There's this thing hanging in the kitchen at HQ. And it goes something like this.
You may have treasures and wealth untold
Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold
Richer than I you can never be
I had a mother who read to me
It is a framed and precious thing that my sister Erin gave to my mom last Christmas. And mom opened it and cried and I was sitting there with all my siblings thinking, "Dang mom, you read us The Prince and the Pauper when we were wee children, so you deserve that. And now you are reading The Prince and the Pauper to your grandkids, so you deserve that with two scoops."
*Seriously, family. If I am dying, bring my copy of Les Miserables to my deathbed. Possibly bury it with me. Maybe bring Crime and Punishment along too.