Flash in the Pan
A Quarterly Posting at Tiny Lights
by B.j. Yudelson
When I wasn't twirling or standing on my head, I read and read and read and read—-Freddy the Pig, Cherry Ames, sports books with forgotten names.
Perched in the fork of a climbing tree, I devoured words like a fledgling. In the shade of my grandparents' scuppernong arbor, I sucked the soft, sweet pulp of my favorites and spat out the tough coppery green skins. Under the bedcovers, my flashlight's snug circle of light illumined lives more dashing than my own.
Years later, I drifted off while reading to my first-grade son and awoke, two chapters later, to an animated solo voyager, his course set by his private Pooh passage. Today-—writer, publisher, dad—-he leads his kids to Oz with his grandma's ragged first editions and downloads stories to his cell phone to lull them to sleep in a room lit only by the screen's emerald glow.
My daughter's toddler backs toward me, picture book in hand, confident that Grandma's lap will be there when she lands. My son's son slithers through books on reptiles, his sleep-resistant siblings reading by the lamp that warms his albino corn snake.
I ring the doorbell at my childhood home and strangers let me in. I grieve for spaces once sanctified by books now filled with autographed baseball mitts.
In my children's homes, as in mine, the celebrated sport is reading. We soar with whimsy, travel the bases to distant lands, catch moments of humor and stay up for one more page. Books overrun the playing field, and we cry, laugh, and cheer volumes that transmit a triumphant legacy in a family of bookworms.
B.J. Yudelson, Rochester, New York, says, "For more than twenty years, I wrote for nonprofit organizations. Recently retired, I am discovering the joy—and emotional challenge of personal expression."
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