When I was a kid, fascinated by comic books and cartoon adventures of superheroes bounding through the air, I wanted more than anything to have a superpower.
Of course, I never realized that my superpower could be cultivated by my silly little adventures hiding from my mother while I secretly read, not so much forbidden books, as being forbidden from reading at the moment when I should have been doing something else, such as cleaning my room.
My secret place, the space behind the bookshelf that was in the corner of my room, was the perfect hiding place. No one knew I had the strength to move the shelf just enough to squeeze my little body through. Maybe they knew, maybe they didn’t, but I read many books in that little corner of my 10-year-old heaven. And a few years later, read one or two titles that I had no business reading.
In all that time, I was developing a superpower that would be particularly useful in my major, and in my career. I learned to read fast and retain some pretty decent comprehension. I had to read fast. My mom could swoop into my room at any moment to check on my progress.
Believe me, I got busted plenty of times, but it never kept me from going back to the book the minute she took off down the hall.
So now I find myself in the grown up version of those Saturday afternoons. I have plenty of chores to do, Mom-sized, not kid-sized, and the allure of my reading stack is pulling and pulling and pulling. I want to disappear into the little office off my kitchen, throw myself on the sofa that’s too short for my long legs, and bury my toes into the cushions.
I want to read with the kind of abandon I had as a child.
Hmmm. Come to think of it, there are lots of things I should be doing with the abandon I had as a child.
But grown-up me says I have to clean my room, first. And so, I will. Clean my room. And then, I’m gonna read. Cuz it’d be a shame to waste a rainy day.