My mom is a nerd.
Like, my friends think I’m a bit eccentric for having a personal library of mostly picture books and following my favorite authors and illustrators on social media (my friends are obviously not elementary school teachers), but seriously, I’ve got nothing on my mom. She frequently says that authors are her superheros. She once won a signed Lois Lowry book for being the speaking event attendee who travelled the furthest to be there. She regularly maxes out the library loan limit checking out books for her classroom.
This is the story I usually use to illustrate my mom’s particular fanaticism for all things children’s literature:
“When I was in middle school, my mom took us to this museum in Massachusetts called the Museum of Picture Book Art — no, seriously.”
*Cue laughter from my friends as they can already see this level of nerdiness goes way beyond what they were expecting*
“Anyway, the museum is pretty cool. It was started by Eric Carle, you know, the guy who wrote The Very Hungry Caterpillar? Okay, good, just had to check. So, there’s a part of the museum where kids can make their own art. So, my sister and I were drawing and making collages and there were a few other families there as well. And this older man comes in and starts milling around, looking at what everyone is doing. And when he passes by our table, my mom freezes, mouth agape, and goes, ‘You’re Eric Carle.'”
*Cue more laughter and incredulity that my mom recognized an illustrator that none of us can even picture within seconds of seeing him.*
“BUT THAT’S NOT ALL!
“A while later, my mom was walking down a street in DC. I think she was going to the National Book Fair, or a teaching conference or something… Anyway, she passed a small group of people on the sidewalk, and — I’m not making this up — one of them was Eric Carle! And she recognized him! Again! Later, we asked her how she even knew what he looked like and she just said, ‘He’s right there on the back cover!'”
Maybe it’s because she has done so many read alouds in her 25 year career as an elementary school teacher that she’s spent a lot of time staring at the back covers of books. Whatever the case, I’m glad that my mom is such a big book nerd and clearly way more observant than most.
P.S. Hi, Mom! Hope you’re not offended that I’ve called you a nerd like 4 times… but somehow, I think you’ll take it as the highest of compliments 🙂 ❂
Slice of Life is a daily writing challenge during the month of March hosted by Two Writing Teachers. Visit their blog for more information about the challenge and for advice and ideas about how to participate.