Until recent activities made life quite hectic, I often read stories to my children at the table as they ate their lunch. Sometimes I would read a couple of picture books to entertain the younger ones, or sometimes I would choose longer books, reading a chapter or two at a time. One of our early favorite was the Junie B. Jones series by Barbara Park. We went through all the books our library had and enjoyed every one.
At the time, my youngest, Luke, was probably about three years old. He sat for the stories and seemed to enjoy them too. But it never occurred to me that now, three years later, he didn’t really remember them. That is, until we were in a used bookstore about a week ago.
Searching the shelves for books to read, I found a stack of Junie B. Jones. “I remember this one,” I said.
My daughter Cassie picked up another. “This one was really funny too.”
“And this one was my favorite,” I answered, holding up yet another.
Luke just looked at us. “Do you remember these?” I asked, and he shook his head. So we bought a few of them before we headed home.
That night, we decided to read for 1/2 hour. We read the first Junie B. Jones book and got about half-way through it. Of course, I had to change my voice for each character. And speak very loudly when Junie B. is yelling. But that’s all part of the fun. (There are some words that parents may want to watch out for — Junie B. uses the words “stupid” and “hate” sometimes, so when I’m reading aloud, I change or omit them altogether.)
We finished up that book the next day, then started in with the second one. Within a couple of days, we had read all the books we had purchased. Luke looked a little concerned.
“Don’t worry, ” I told him. “I’ll get some more from the library.” When I brought home four more, he was excited.
I went into the kitchen to wash some dishes, and he came in too, carrying the books. “Mom,” he said, “may you read me some more of these sometime?”
What a great question! I had to smile. “Yes, I may,” I said. So no matter how busy our days become, we are back to Junie B.