Accepting the Challenge to Be Cool & Read

beach beach chair daylight footsteps
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Kristen dared us to find a cool spot and read this month. That’s a little like daring me to breathe or eat cookies, so I was excited. Success was in the bag.

She also issued an “extra credit” dare to re-read something we read when we were younger. This excited me even more–she probably doesn’t know it, but I was voted Most Likely to Do Extra Credit in high school. (Yes, really. I like to hope that I’ve mellowed a bit since then, but I’m going to do the extra credit even if I already have an A-plus and you can’t stop me.) As it happened, by August 1 I was on vacation with my family and had at least five books in my backpack, two of which I had requested from the library because I’d read them as a kid and wanted to reread them. I gleefully spent a few minutes each night revisiting a world that had enchanted me as a seventh grader.

But then we came home from vacation. We came back to reality, to piles and piles of laundry, to grocery schlepping and meal planning and back-to-school shopping. Suddenly it was hard to keep my eyes open for a few stolen minutes of reading each day, even in the middle of the afternoon. I’d get through a sentence just fine, the next would blur a bit as my head bobbed, and before I knew it I’d be mumbling “hunh” to a kid’s question, which they’d take as a “yes” and run off to do I’m-not-sure-what with what they presumed was my permission.

In other words, this dare is just what I need to force me to carve out purposeful time to read. The end of summer will get hectic—it always does. My youngest two don’t start school until after Labor Day, so they’ll be wanting to pack in fun activities while they still can. This will take some planning, and will probably require the use of an earlier wake-up alarm for some quiet time. But I am eagerly anticipating returning to the pages that initially captivated a much-younger me.