I don't recall where I snagged the above image or I would give credit where it is due. It makes me feel happy and like spring is just around the corner.
I spent Saturday morning at immediate care. Sinus and ear infection, lucky me. Normally I ride this type of infection out, but the face pain prompted some medical intervention. The place was standing room only. I have to say that they did their best to keep things moving, but it was crazy busy.
The woman who came in right after me was bringing her three year old son, Barron, in with a suspected ear infection. I know his name was Barron because his mother said his name somewhere in the vicinity of 300 times. To her credit, she was trying to keep him entertained, but three, you know, three can be a challenge and Barron was sick enough to be cranky, but not sick enough to sit still. He had a little yellow car that he pushed under just about every chair in the place. He wasn't naughty, just busy. There was a television screen with some sort of kids program playing, but there was not a chair to sit on and he was too small to see the screen from the floor. I could feel his mother starting to come unglued after about 10 minutes and I felt so bad for her, trapped as she was between the rock of her son's illness and hard place of an over crowded waiting room. She finally gave up and took him home. I hope she found him some sort of pain relief over the weekend. I also hope there was a hot bath and a bottle of wine in her future.
Having spent hours in various doctor's waiting areas with my mother at the end of her life, I have "the wait" down to a science. Attempt to find a seat near a corner and out of the main stream of traffic. Scope out the location of the restroom and the door from where your name may be called. Have water, tissue, and above all, a book. The book is the most important part of "the wait". Keep your mind busy and time goes by quickly. In this room of at least 30 people, I was the only one with a book. The only one. There were several people looking at their phones and it is possible that they were reading, but I was sort of surprised that I was the only one with a physical book. Not even any kindles. Just lots of people staring at the wall. Is this small group of humanity indicative of the larger population? Is reading no longer a "thing"? Are kids now being taught to read, but not to love reading?
Having grown up before the age of screens, I was never without a book and that continues to be true today. If I don't have a book in hand and at least two in the que I get a little twitchy. Stepping into a the world of a new story is always exciting. The thing is, I don't know how to make that kind of excitement contagious. Neither of my children are readers, though Kysa has been doing more reading of late. My love of books was not passed down to my children, even though I gave it my best shot.
I was sitting in my room with Cambria last Tuesday. We had gone through all her sight words and she read me one of her books. She is a very good reader and was eager to read to me, but what she really wanted to do was earn time to watch kitten videos on my ipad. So, since it was at Nana's house and Nana is known for being a major pushover, that is what we did, she watched the videos, frequently showing me the screen of unbearable cuteness, while I sat and read. At one point she stops and says to me,"The library lady told us that a book can be your very best friend." I nod and agree that this is certainly the case. "I don't understand that.", she says, and I don't how to explain it. I'm not sure how to make a page full of words sound better than a screen full of kittens. I finally tell her that books have been one of the very best parts of my life. Hmmmm......she contemplates this. She is looking at my book and not the screen. She asks what my book is about. I tell her it is about kings and princesses and being a loyal friend. (The Red Queen, by Victoria Aveyard.) She thinks about his for a minute and says, "Maybe someday I'll read that." Maybe someday she will. Have I made progress? I don't know, but I do know that if I can give my grandchildren the gift of a good book, that will be a very good thing.
The competition between flashing screen and printed page is one that will go on for a very long time and I admit to having some mad love for my screens as well, but oh a book, a book is such a gift and one so easily given. How lucky we are to live in a time where we can have both.