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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Giving Tree

I found this video and it made me really happy. Listening to the audio brought back some pieces of an early memory.  I'm in kindergarten, and sitting on the floor of a small room with big windows. I have huge beige headphones on, and I'm listening to a book on tape. The tape players are huge. I picked the book myself, and although some of the books have different narrators on tape they all have the same chime noise to tell you when to turn the page. But I know when to turn the page without the chime, because I can read. The books smell like books, and I like that smell. I don't like when reading time is over.

 I imagine the room was called the "Reading Lab" because I don't know why else that phrase would be so connected with this memory.  I don't think Shel Silverstein was the voice on the tape. I don't even remember if The Giving Tree was one of the books I listened to. The more I try to focus on the details of the memory, the more distant it is. Like looking directly at a star.  

But even more than loving the Reading Lab I loved having Mom read books to me at home. Because she would do all the voices of the characters. The narrators sounded like Mom, but everyone else got a completely different voice.  And when I started reading too, books became more like small plays, with both of us taking turns doing the voices. Even better than Reading Lab.

It's cold and snowy outside today. As this auto - posts  I'm at work, bustling up and down the hallway trying to make my eight hours count for every patient.

But somewhere deep inside me is a five year old girl, curled up on a rug near a dirty window looking out over Washington Street in West Roxbury. She's wearing huge beige headphones, beginning a life long love affair with words. 

And trees for that matter.

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