Summer Reading and Summer Talking

There's something magical when one of your children discovers a book you really remember loving as a child. One of my favorites was Anne of Green Gables. When the Girl Child needed a second book for summer reading I happened to remember loving it at her age and recommending it. It was only after we had gotten her a copy that I remembered some of the language of the book was rather old fashioned and worried that it might be a bit over her head. The Girl Child is dyslexic and while she did eventually become an eager reader, she still isn't the fastest reader. We made a deal that that I'd read a couple of chapters to her out loud so we could discuss any questions she had about the book (vocabulary, what the characters must feel like at this point in the book, what did she think would happen later, etc.) but she'd be responsible for reading the bulk of it on her own.

I think the funniest thing I discovered in reading it out loud was while I still adored Anne and strongly identified my childhood self with her, I now had a lot more empathy for Marilla, raising an imaginative chatterbox of my own. She was delighted to find out that I was a weird kid who loved making up strange stories too. (My son, who of course sat in the room for part of the reading was surprised that anyone could talk as much as his sister, in fiction or real life).  

The Boy Child's summer reading was The Night Circus, which I also read and enjoyed. He picked it up as "the only thing on the list that didn't sound depressing". I know his taste in books more or less and agreed it was the one he'd be most likely to enjoy; he's happiest reading something of a more fantastical nature. 

We didn't end up talking too much about the book, but spent a decent amount of the summer talking about a variety of things - current events, video games (well, he'll ALWAYS talk about video games when given an opportunity), the big move to high school. I'm not taking these talks for granted - it's a rare thing for a teenager to deign to talk to their parents about more than what's for dinner. The current event talks surprised me the most; he had some pretty well thought out opinions. A recent conversation on Facebook got us talking about the bigger world, and being willing to look, with both a curious and critical eye, at ideas he may not have been exposed to at home. I told him this is the age to start to figure out who he is, independent of what his dad and I are. I made sure to let him know I'd love and support his choices, even if he decided to join the Young Republicans Club (he rolled his eyes at me on that, repeating his usual complaint about not being part of a normal family). For right now his biggest act of self expression is his geek/nerd based hat collection which neither of his grandmothers are fond of. I can live with that. 

Song Choice: Last Rose of Summer

Seeking Stars

Seeking stars,
the moon lends me its light and name.
I don’t need food.
Just the hope of touching,
keeps me flying true.

This is part of the 25 word challenge thrown down by Mama Zen over at Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads. I thought about participating, but Magaly Guerrero's work inspired me to give it a shot. Basically the challenge is to create a poem with symbolism we feel a strong connection to (a power image), but do it under twenty five words. Personally the image of moths, especially luna moths, is one of my favorite symbols to work with. 

Of Moon and Sun

I have always been a girl of the sun.
The sight of a new morning
spilling gold through my window -
I always felt I could grab it,
wrestle it, to shape the day to my will.

But for your sake,
I can be a girl of the moon,
wandering in foggy half shadows,
and making friends of whispers.

I can look up at the moon
and see the difference
of a hair between our perspectives.
My lips, pliable and willing
to form words strange to my ears,
wishing to use them,
to be able to fly in the moon’s path,
and know the stars better.

Do you want to see the sun?
Are you as curious as I
to understand the opposite side of the world?
Then walk in the sunlight with me
and fly, even in some small way, by day,
until the moon and sun both belong to us.

This poem is part of the Tuesday Platform for Imaginary Garden With Real Toads. Hop on over and look at some of the other great offerings.