While I was eating lunch today, I read several of my childhood books. I started thinking about the importance of stories in my life. I grew up surrounded by stories. My dad used to make up stories to entertain us on long car trips. Most days my family would gather together for an hour or so. My dad would read for a while from a for fun book and then we would have a devotional time. I love stories in any form. I started to really read for myself when I was eight. I was at my aunt’s house with my mom and sisters and as I recall quite bored. I picked up C. S. Lewis’ The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. I started to read. My aunt let me take it home with me when it was time to leave. I read all the way home. I read the very last page as I walked through the front door. I have been passionate about reading ever since that day.
Anyway, today I read some of my old favorites. I found that these stories that I loved so much as a kid still make me smile as an adult. I love them for the memories, but I also love them for the stories. This one book I particularly loved. It is about a dragon who just wants to be noticed. The little boy and mom in the story pay no attention to this dragon because there is no such thing as dragons. In order to be noticed this dragon begins to grow until it is so big that no one can ignore it anymore. Once acknowledged it shrinks back to its original kitten size. This story is great, but what I like best about this book is my attempts to claim this book solely as my own. The book is mine and always was. My name is written in the “this book belongs to” spot by an adult hand. This, however, wasn’t enough for me. I scrawled my name on every page up to about half way through where it looks like I grew tired of writing my name. My s’s and n’s are backwards and sometimes I left letters out. There is no question that this book belongs to me.
I wonder if this was a desperate attempt to claim something as mine where, most everything was shared with my sisters. I didn’t have the responsibilities of being the oldest or the attention of being the youngest. I was indelibly stuck in the middle. Maybe this was an attempt to state that I am me and this is mine. I exist apart from my sisters and what we share. On the other hand, I could have simply been practicing writing my name and what better place than a book that is mine. I feel like I had something else to say about these cherished books, but I can’t think of what it is. Maybe these books will at a later date provide more interesting thoughts.