For as long as I can remember, I have always loved to read. Growing up, it was not uncommon for me to be working on two books at once, and even today I often keep one book in my bag and another in the bathroom (yes, I admit it – I keep reading material in the bathroom. What can I say – I bore easily…). Even now, as I sit here on the train writing this, my mind keeps wandering to the Bill Bryson book tucked away in the bag at my feet. I first encountered the marvelous world of Mr Bryson during a visit to the Anglosaxies, and he’s since become one of my favorite writers (thanks, AS!). I’ve read all of his travel books at least once, and have read most of them twice. The man is brilliant, what can I say (I am, of course, referring to Bill Bryson, so don’t get cheeky on me Anglosaxy!).
But I digress. Reading. Given my great love of books, it was only natural that I would try to pass on my passion to the Little One, and so far, it seems to be working. His collection of books is growing, and one of our favorite activities is to curl up together with a good story. Most of his books are in English, purchased during trips to the US, or delivered as gifts from family and friends. Every year on his birthday, without fail, he receives at least one gift certificate from Amazon, and I have almost as much fun choosing books for him as I do for myself.
Some of the books, he knows by heart (as do I… sigh…), and not only will he recite them out loud as I read, but he also won’t hesitate to let me know if I’ve skipped a page, always keeping me on my toes.
And then there are times when the books themselves keep me on my toes. We always leave the book selection up to the Little One (though not without a bit of nudging if he chooses a book that we simply can’t bear to read yet again). Sometimes he opts for a book in English, and other times, he’ll prefer a book in Hebrew. Several weeks ago, he chose the latter, and brought a book that we hadn’t read before. It was one of the many we’d inherited from my sister-in-law, whose children had outgrown the books long ago. The book was about bringing babies into the world, and given that it was obviously a children’s picture book, I had no concerns about the contents.
Apparently, I should have. What began as a lighthearted description of baby animals quickly gave way to talk of sperm and eggs. As I continue to read out loud, my mind is spinning. “Whoa! Did I read that correctly?” “Sperm?” “I’m reading about sperm and eggs to a three year-old?” “Well Jesus, Mary and Joseph! This has got to stop!” It would seem, however, that I stopped too late, as a little penny dropped somewhere in the Little One’s head. While the sperm failed to register, the concept of eggs definitely left its mark. Despite the fact that the book has since been shoved to the back of a high shelf, the mythical eggs live on.
The Little One, bless him, is convinced that I now have a tummy full of eggs, and has proudly shared this news with nearly everyone who crosses his path – the neighbors, his teachers, my husband’s business colleagues (who, I’m told, were visibly uncomfortable by the disclosure)… He keeps tugging at my shirt and pressing my stomach in order to try to find them, and has suggested that I go to the doctor, so that he can take pictures of my eggs.
As this saga was unfolding, we received word that our son had drawn the most marvelous pictures, demonstrating a level of skill usually shown by children who are at least five years old, not three. It was, apparently, a picture of me. “And what is that little line in my tummy,” I asked him, pleased that he may have inherited his grandmother’s art skills (which have obviously skipped a generation…). “Your eggs, Mommy!”
Welcome to my world, folks. Put on your seatbelts – I think we’re in for a bumpy ride!