Reading in Summer

This summer we long for the days of yore when sharing strawberry soda with your domesticated raccoon was mostly normal. We drink in the ordinary, if not mundane adventures of Rascal and his boy Sterling. It is lovely to sit in the thoughts of this child growing up in Wisconsin, motherless, comforted by his pets and the wild world around him.  Here Sterling tells a bit about his grief of losing his mother.

"It seemed to me unfair that she could not have lived to see the pets I was raising - Rascal especially."

 I appreciate his voice.  I want Myles and Fiona to hear the narrative of a conscience in anguish between how things should be and how things end up.  Loss is all around us and while I don't want to burden my children, I also do not want them to be a stranger to sadness in themselves and in others.
 These thoughts remind me of a favorite picture book by Nan Gregory.  The father in the story, Pink comforts his daughter when her longing for something goes unfulfilled by saying among other words:
 "Wanting things makes great music." 

In August we will head to the land of the Pine Barrens in southern New Jersey. We have rented a cabin at a state park near my mother's childhood home.   In between visits with my grandfather we will soak in the best of the Atlantic ocean. But there is something else that has been added to our wish list thanks to our reading of Rascal. I want the kids to hear their first call of the Whippoorwill.  Read this book and you will join me in that desire. Its impossible not too.

I am devouring this book at the moment.  Again almost for the same reasons. The great chef Ripert talks openly and honestly about his losses on his journey to culinary triumphs. Writing about brokenness and food gets me every time.


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