Last year my daughter joined a volleyball that practiced thirty minutes from home three times a week – so we drove. And for the required fifteen tournaments a season – we drove. I wondered what we’d do with all this time. One can listen to much rock, pop, country or even classical music…
Out came the audiobooks! My search for our perfect first book began with a chat about what she was reading in class… Okay, she was twelve, but still… There was no Austen, Montgomery, Bronte, or Twain.
So I set out to rectify this educational deficit. First, Daddy Long Legs – after Dear Mr. Knightley, I couldn’t help myself.
Then we moved on to Persuasion. I’m still not sure if that was the place to start, but it’s my favorite Austen.
At first understanding was tough for her. But the more she listened, the more attuned she became to the language, the movement within the story and the nuances of emotion. And with understanding came real interest. We’ve since moved on to Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility.
Through this experience, I realized that if I don’t share the things I love, my daughters may never understand them. I don’t mean kindness, thoughtfulness, self-control etc., I mean the more simple pleasures of a well-written classic novel, a nice chocolate chip cookie or a walk on a fall day. And to appreciate what society may now deem as “old” as something still brilliant and capable of teaching us something new.
I know if you’re visiting here – and thank you for that – you adore Austen too. And if you have any other ideas for me as I work to engender a love for great books in my children, let me know.
Volleyball season has begun again. And so has the driving. And as‘ launched yesterday, we’re beginning with Jane Eyre. But soon… I sense we’ll spend time in Northanger Abbey.