All three of the grandchildren who’ve been here came with interesting reading habits. They read fantasy. I picked up a couple or three to read, and was not impressed by thin plots and limited vocabularies. Emily joined book club, realized thought provoking literature was available, at the library, no less, and moved on.
A year ago this past summer I mentioned to Laura that some book she was reading seemed based on Grimms. I unearthed Grimms from the basement library, and she read the little green volume from my childhood. Then I handed over Andersen, and suggested she read at least up to the nightingale story, or the little mermaid.
For their first Christmas here I flooded the children with classics, hoping to influence their reading habits for the better. The Andersen volume went to Emily, with some others, and languished on the bottom shelf of her bookcase. Laura was the reader of it, though, and I see it now lives on the bottom shelf of her bookcase.
And so on to this year. Over the summer I took her to see the professional production of a play. This year she’s joined drama club. She spent all of junior high being too timid to join. Over the summer we went to a production of You Can’t Take It With You, and the ending was surprisingly well done. I was impressed by the set and the costumes, and pointed out to Laura all the work that goes into a production by the folks who put it on. She’s joined drama club “to work on sets or costumes.” One doesn’t ask.
Those are pleasant parts of the world through young eyes. My unpleasant part is band, band shows and football games. Joe, my car pooler, has a license and a car, so I have Laura’s round trip. Retrieval from band practice at nine o’clock plus Wednesday nights is not too far outside the pale. But, Friday night football and the occasional Saturday band show are!
The young, tailgating parents are, frankly, insane. But, at least they are already at the event, and can retrieve Susie and Johnny and get on home. For me, when pigs fly. I have found a school website that posts the big plays each quarter, and the score. I look at it occasionally, and about mid fourth quarter head off to the school. We’re talking late for grandmas, but I flip on the local public radio station for Los Angeles Theater productions.
Laura generally has an unfavorable remark or two, before she falls asleep on the way home. Last weekend she suddenly listened to the production of Pride and Prejudice, and asked me to fill her in on characters and what she missed. At home, we sat in the drive, at midnight, listening to the end.
“Emily has this,” Laura announced. “She left it here! I’m going to read that.”
I looked. Complete Works of Jane Austen lives in another bedroom now.