Dreams of a Mid-Century Modern Child, Or, Portrait of the author as a Pretty Young Thing
When I was a kid, I was a HUGE reader. I mean, I wasn't actually huge, dammit, I was little, but I read any time I could steal away from chores and little brothers for a few minutes and open a book. I know I've told you this before: we were poor, really REALLY poor. Yet there were always books around - we had library cards, brought books home from school, and had a grandad who would send us home from our visits to his house with pennies and obscure volumes from HIS dad's collection stacked neatly in the attic. Colette wrote, "Books, books, books. It was not that I read so many. I read & re-read the same ones. But all of them were necessary to me." For me, it has always been as necessary to read as to breathe.
I read my first words at the age of 4 and among my many selfish prayers can be heard the fervent "Please God, let me never go blind" request. If I were a strict and smart observer of the rules of The Secret, or even just a good person, I would rephrase that. "Thank you God, for continually letting me see the truly wondrous beauties of Your world, and also, the printed page." In other words, when all else goes, it will be very nice to still curl up in the big red chair and lose myself one last time in another world.
Remember that question we were all asked a million times throughout our childhoods, and now ask other kids ourselves? "What do you want to be when you grow up?" So much hangs on those words. The practical and magical dreams of the pure heart of a child are embodied within the answers given. Ballerinas and scientists, cowboys and teachers; soon enough tomorrow's dream becomes yesterday's old hat. Sebastian (he's just turned 5) wanted to be a ninja last year, now he says an author (and is already concerned with who creates the cover art!) and (small mystery here as none of us have been aware of him having knowledge of such a thing) a glassblower.
Myself? For years, I never varied in either the big picture of my future occupation or my answer, "An Author," I always exclaimed emphatically, looking the enquirer straight in the eye, daring them to question my aspirations. Though I did dance briefly with a gothier version, a Poet.