May 13, 2013 by zachames
I get it that I haven’t posted in in like 2 and a half years, but in my defense, there are 13 saved posts that I never got around to finishing. So there. I also renamed it. Anselmo is in reference to a character from Hemingway’s For Whom The Bell Tolls. He’s probably my second favorite character in all of literature. Bilbo Baggins is number 1.
Here’s the deal, I love my mom and it’s mother’s day so I’m blogging abut her. We fight alot and don’t always agree on stuff, but there’s one thing we agree on. Books. Anyone that knows me more than 10 minutes knows that i have a long standing love affair with all things literary. I’ll read anything from Dostoevsky to mechanics manuals to brochures about manatee sightseeing tours from Florida rest stops. I just love to read. I have a great mom to thank for that. When I was little, I was probably not the typical kid you’d peg as a reader. In reality I was a bit of a hellion. Had I lived in the age when ritalin and whatnot were mainstays modifying children’s behaviors, I’d have been on everything they offered. Its by grace that I was placed in a different generation and with a mom who used a different method to reign in my overactive imagination and focus that energy to something useful. Lots of books, a seemingly inexhaustible supply of them. Hardy Boys, Maniac Magee, on up to Michael Crichton at an age I was probably far too young to be reading him, but she kept that energy focused and reading more and more. We had family reading many nights of every week on up into my late teens, nights where we would just sit and read for hours on end. I still read for hours on end many nights of the week, its a habit I don’t care to break. She uses pretty much any gift giving occasion as a chance to clean out my Amazon Wish list, before that she just bought me books in bulk and hoped I’d like them. I don’t even know if she knew thats what helped focused my abundant energy but I am thankful for it. As I got older I began to ramp up the difficulty of what i read, devouring stacks of classics starting from age 8 or so. Stuff ranging from The Yearling, to The Count of Monte Cristo, to 1984. It wasn’t just me either.
She did it to my brother as well. he wasn’t as big a reader as I was but she made sure he dang well read enough to be able to overcome some early deficiencies he had in that department. I actually read 1984 when I was in the 6th grade in helping my brother read it his senior year of high school when he was having trouble with it. She read it too, we all read it a bunch and Hunter not only passed but when on to excel in his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. He now teaches broadcast journalism and is much smarter than I am, Teacher of the Year smart. All because we had a mom that worked hard at making sure her two very different sons knew how to read and read well. I think I speak for Hunter when I say we are eternally grateful.
Here’s the final part part, my mom encouraging my reading has had its greatest impact on my spiritual life. My parents raised us in a home that lived the gospel and it wasn’t long before the two of us made our decisions to begin walks with Christ. Reading is a big part of any Christian walk, the Bible we hold as truth is in fact a book(collection of books, whatevs). Reading for the Christian is more than just reading scripture directly though, we need literature to apply it to sometimes and others with greater minds to help us understand what we’re reading. Quick debunk, anyone who says that as a Christian we should only need to read scripture is like a surgeon who says he only needs to look at a human body to know how to be a surgeon. Terrible idea.
I digress, for me reading has served as a number of roles in my Christian walk. It’s served as discipleship in times where I lacked it in relationships. It serves as accountabilty, it serves as something that keeps my pride in check. I have a big tendency to think I am some sort of genius or what have you and many times God has used literature ranging from blogs to classics to remind me just how low I am on the totem pole. I am so thankful for that.
I thought about this when I asked my mom what she wanted to do on Mother’s Day this year, her 29th as my mom. She simply wanted to go book shopping for a little bit and then to dinner. So that’s what we did and after being unable to find much from my obscure Amazon list I settled on a book by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, who is an author after my own heart who writes gothic tales centered around, you guessed it, books. We had a ball. I end simply thanking my mom for being a great mom. She was a great mom in general, raising one son with Diabetes and Hunter who was a goon but always parenting at full speed and with the Gospel at its core. But I am perhaps most thankful for how much she pushed books on a kid that didn’t sit still for more than 2 seconds and then finding out that getting lost in an author’s world was exactly was the doctor ordered. I’d be much different(worse kind of different) otherwise. As a new father she’s given me a great example to follow. I love Ella and no matter her personality she will be a reader, you can guarantee that.
Love you mom.