Friday, October 9, 2009

The Most Fun Ever

Yesterday evening I went to a little party hosted by two of my undergraduate students, Scott and Meredith: the point of the party was for the guests to curl up cozily by the fire, many of them wearing their footie pajamas, while I read to them from my children's books. Scott and Meredith were the only two people there whom I knew - the rest were their friends, who had no particular reason to want to come to hear me read, except for the age-old hankering all of us have for the sheer pleasures of story.

And so I sat there and read, choosing what I thought were my best, funniest or maybe most touching, bits (the scene in You're a Brave Man, Julius Zimmerman where Julius tries and fails, in his summer French class, to do le hokey-pokey - the subsequent scene where he has to change a poopy diaper for his little babysitting charge, Edison Blue - the scene in How Oliver Olson Changed the World where Oliver's parents squabble as they try to make his third grade diorama on the solar system - the opening Monopoly game scene in The Totally Made-Up Civil War Diary of Amanda MacLeish - the closing scene in Being Teddy Roosevelt when Riley finally gets a saxophone of his own. I felt like Scheherazade, only a happy, contented, not-at-all-nervous Scheherezade. I thought: this is why I write stories, so that somebody, somewhere, can sit reading them aloud by the fire - maybe so that I can be the one to sit reading them aloud by the fire.

I also thought how fun it is to be young, and to live together in a little apartment, with gym shoes strewn everywhere, and wonderful food like blueberry cornbread and home-made brownies - surrounded by good friends, and maybe to be curled up in your footie jammies next to someone you love - and I know they were all thinking how fun it is to be even younger, a little child ready to be tucked in to bed, hearing one last story read in a mother's soft voice.

Last night, it was all fun, every single minute of it.

1 comment:

  1. This is so beautiful it makes me want to cry. And I am not pulling your footy-pajamaed leg.