I read to the Impossible Son at night. We go through books much more slowly than I did with the Impertinent Daughter. He goes to sleep, lulled by the sound of my voice, whereas she wanted very much to know how the chapter ended, and often would beg for more.
I was like the Impossible Son, lulled to sleep by the sound of my mother's or my Uncle James' voices, no matter how interested I was in the story.
This is why we are on Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince and taking our time through it. I feel like I'm letting him down, though. I've been reading to him since he was a baby, just like I did with Miss Priss, and by this time, Miss Priss and I had gotten through The Wizard of Oz, Charlotte's Web, Alice in Wonderland, and Through the Looking Glass, all the Harry Potter books that had been written up to 2004, all of the Narnia books, The Back of the North Wind, many, many fairy tales, The Black Arrow, The Secret Garden, The Light Princess, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach...
Whereas the Impossible Son and I have gotten through from Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone to The Half-Blood Prince.
I think we shall take a break from Harry Potter after we finish this one and maybe start on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as a change of pace!
Tonight, however, I did something different. I told him a story, a story my mother used to read to me when I was very small, and the cadence of it entranced me so much... that I memorized it. It was the story of The Old Woman and the Pig, and I have told him this story before, as I have told it to his sister many, many times, and I always tell it a little different, though the cadence part remains the same. And as he listened to me go from, "Cat, cat, kill rat, rat won't gnaw rope, rope won't hang butcher, butcher won't kill ox, ox won't drink water, water won't quench fire, fire won't burn stick, stick won't beat dog, dog won't bite pig, pig won't jump over the sty, and I shan't get home tonight," to "The cat began to kill the rat, the rat began to gnaw the rope, the rope began to hang the butcher, the butcher began to kill the ox, the ox began to drink the water, the water began to quench the fire, the fire began to burn the stick, the stick began to beat the dog, the dog began to bite the pig, the pig began to jump the sty and she FINALLY got home..." he blinked and said, "It's like a song, isn't it?"
And I said, "Yes, yes, it is, it's very like a song!"
He said, "That's what helps you remember it all, right? Because it's like a song, it has a rhythm and a flow, and you tell it like a song, just... not singing it?"
"Yes, that's it exactly!" I said, very pleased. "A lot of the old fairy tales are like that. Like the Three Little Pigs tale, you know, little pig, little pig, let me in, not by the hair of my chinny, chin, chin, then I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll blow your house in?"
"Yeah!" he said sleepily. "Just like that! Are there any more like that?"
"Oh, lots and lots," I said with a smile. "Want me to tell them to you?"
"Sure, but not now. For now, I just want to know what happens to Harry on his first day back at Hogwarts."
It's not like he hasn't seen the movies. But, he knows the books are different, and has learned to appreciate that.
Meanwhile, my head is filled with the stories and rhymes my mother and sisters and uncles and aunts read to me. And I can hear my mother softly saying...
Wind, wind, gently sway
Blow Curdken's hat away
Let him chase o'er field and wold
Till my locks of ruddy gold
Now astray and hanging down
Be combed and plaited in a crown...
*goes off to bed with visions of goose-girls, talking horses, ravens and swans flying, and glass mountains in her head*
Please to be reading Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, in particular, the last book. THAT is how you wrap up a series. Not by throwing random people and situations in, because you're exhausted, and just want to finish the damn book, then adding an epilogue that wraps everything up neatly and tidily because, dammit, you're done and you just don't want to mess with it any more!
Don't get me wrong, Deathly Hallows had some truly inspired moments, but there was so much in it that just felt... out of context, or seemed to be thrown in to move the plot along without any real thought for if it actually did move the plot along.
And I'm sorry, but killing Fred Weasley because you couldn't make yourself kill Arthur Weasley in the fifth book doesn't count as "moving the plot along." That's just called "chickening out and trying to make up for it... badly."
*curled up on bed, nose buried in book, cat at feet, cup of tea on table slowly growing cold*
Later this morning...
*curled up on chair, nose buried in book, cat trying to get in lap, glass of ice tea with melting ice slowly dripping on desk*
*sitting at table, nose buried in book, forkful of salad suspended in air and dripping salad dressing on jeans and bare foot, unnoticed until cat starts licking foot*
*nose buried in book, curled on couch on porch, until sense of vague disquiet and the thought that something is being forgotten stirs in occupied brain*
Yes, I remembered to pick up my kids before it was time to pick them up. And in a few minutes, I'm going straight back to Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian. And I'm reading slowly because I want to savour it!! And y'all might actually get some fanart out of this one... maybe...
*curls up on bed again and is lost in book once again*
Thirteen years ago today, I was driving the Husbandly One nuts every time the door to my hospital room popped or squeaked. I'd sit up and say, "Is she here yet? Have they brought her?"
And he'd groan and say, "No, honey, she's not here yet, for pete's sake, GO BACK TO SLEEP!!" because we'd been up all night the night before.
Over and over, any time a door down the hall opened, my door would squeak, groan, or pop, and I'd sit up and say, "Now? Is she here now??"
And he'd throw a pillow at me.
I should have been exhausted, and I was, but I couldn't sleep. I was drugged up to my eyeballs, but I couldn't close them to save my life. I couldn't sleep, couldn't relax, couldn't do anything until I saw my daughter.
Then the nurses finally brought her into my room, and I held out my arms, and they handed her to me, and I forgot all about everything else as I eagerly unwrapped the blankets and counted every finger, every toe, looked into her face, sniffed her head, and kissed her and said, "Yep, this is my kid," then promptly curled up with her in my arms and went fast asleep.
And the Husbandly One said, "Hey! No fair!! You kept me up ALL NIGHT LONG!! WAKE UP!!"
And the nurses said, "AAAACK! SHE CAN'T SLEEP WITH THE BABY IN HER ARMS!! PUT THE BABY BACK IN THE BASSINET!!"
So the Husbandly One picked the baby up and put her back in the bassinet. Whereupon I promptly sat up, not quite awake, and started reaching and whining for my child. So, he picked her back up, put her back in my arms, and I promptly curled on my side with her in my arms and went right back to sleep. When the nurses freaked, THO said, "My wife wants the baby in her arms, she gets to keep the baby in her arms. They'll both sleep better that way. Now, if you're done here, go find someone else to bother!" So they did.
And so began our adventures with the Impertinent Daughter, who introduced us to the joys and horrors of Parenthood. It has definitely been a rollercoaster ride! And we've enjoyed every single second, even the terrifying ones!!
Happy Birthday, Impertinent Daughter! Love you bunches!!