Magical moments

Million-Dollar Throw Million-Dollar Throw by Mike Lupica

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Do you read to your kids?

Yeah, I still read to mine, even though he is 13.

I suspect this may be the last year he will want me to, but I can never tell with him. He’s VERY sentimental about things. He reads books much more complex than ours at school or even on his own (he did read the entire Harry Potter series on his own in English & even got through a couple more in Swedish). Yet somehow he has never tired of me reading to him. It’s not every night for sure anymore, but at least 3-4 per week.

I remember reading to his older brother too, but I also remember him getting tired of it before he hit junior high. I also can’t remember us finding any series that he enjoyed too much. Not surprising since he hated reading – still pretty much does – and has never seen books as a source of entertainment.

I think too, that I’ve gotten better AT doing the reading. I’m not sure when it happened. I know many years ago I found myself really loving to get into the rhythm of reading:

The Dragons Are Singing Tonight

The Dragons Are Singing Tonight by Jack Prelutsky
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’m not typically a “do the voices” kind of reader, but this one almost compelled me to follow the inflections. After that I know that in general I got better at “feeling” a book much as a singer “feels” and interprets a song. Our Christmas tradition of reading The Grinch and The Night Before Christmas became more entertaining for both of us (its pretty darn hard NOT to read the Grinch in proper character voices after having seen the classic cartoon hundreds of times. Shoot, it’s hard not to break into the appropriate songs!)

Recently Keith Olbermann talked on his show about reading to his dad before he died. He had been in the hospital for quite a long time and I guess he loved to have Keith read short stories to him. Particularly James Thurber. And I thought one night while reading to SB just how soothing that must have been for both of them. Since his father died, Keith has been fullfilling a promise he made to his dad and has been reading selected Thurber stories at the end of Friday’s show. He sits in a big red leather chair in a black background so it’s like a reading corner. I’ve gotten into it by closing my eyes and laying down on the sofa to listen. He has a great reading voice. And as someone *listening* to a well read story, it was so so wonderfully relaxing to do that. Of course he is trained at it. It’s what he does after all being in the sports and news media for so long. But I thought, hey, I can do that! I think, in fact, that I’ve gotten pretty good at it while reading at night to my son.

And this is a very roundabout way of telling you all how much I love reading some books more than others. Like The Dragons are Singing Tonight. Or anything by Mike Lupica.

He writes stories about young teens wound around sports and with real life professional sports starts woven in. There are a few other authors who do this & we enjoy all of them. But Lupica reaches another level. I still remember finishing up Heat which was the first of his books we read. I was quite choked up at the end, though not crying, but I know my voice was cracking and I remember closing it up with a *thwack* and saying “Dammit Mike Lupica! There’s no crying in baseball!” as I wiped my nose and SB did the same. Yeah, I induced tears. Well, tonight I’m cursing Lupica again. Because Million Dollar Throw was easily his BEST. There was a twist right at the start that hit both of us in the gut. I remember reading the impact sentence with a gasp. Last night I finished the final 4 chapters and even though I knew, I mean, I KNEW in general how it would end – he still got me. Two more little twists, one making our jaws drop and then another…well…let’s just say I didn’t make it through the end of this one. My voice started cracking at least 10 pages back. My heart was thumping in my ears and I held back pretty well until the very last page. At that point I started just plain crying & I had to stop to wipe my eyes, take a deep breath, curse Lupica, then plow ahead. Yeah SB was getting sniffly too and we both ended it with some red eyes going on. We looked at each other and said “DAMMIT Mike Lupica!” and then he said “Is there another book out yet?”

No, but that’s good because I need to recover first.

But boy am I glad he still wants me to read to him šŸ™‚

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