Hey guys! Hope you are all doing well. I’ve had a rough couple of weeks. Being sick for 6 weeks was not only unpleasant but it messed up my sleep patterns and I’m not sure how to get things back on track. I’ve been unable to go to sleep until 3am plus. To make matters worse I end up working in the early hours because I have to use the time for something and make up for some lost morning time. The whole thing is a huge problem.
Anyway, I’ve also been reading a lot lately. Last month for book club we read the children classic Number the Stars by Lois Lowry. This is a book I remember reading as a child and finding totally engrossing. It tells the story of a Danish family who, along with others, helps Jewish families out of Denmark to Sweden during WWII. It is a very good piece to introduce children to the idea of WWII and the Holocaust without beating them over the head with it.
That said…I found this read through to be tough going. Even though it is a very short book it felt very long (and this from the girl who reads North and South twice a year!). Everything was so predictable and I wasn’t engaged at all in what was happening. I could still recognize why I might have enjoyed it as a child, but as an adult I did not enjoy reading it.
I’ve had this happen several times in the last few years where something I loved in childhood does not hold the same charm to me as an adult. Have you ever had this happen? Of course, some things I liked then I like now such as Little Women, Anne of Green Gables and The Secret Garden. Some things I didn’t like then but like now such as Wrinkle in Time.
As I’ve wondered about these differing reactions it made me realize I am not very good at looking through ‘kid goggles’. What I mean by that is I cannot imagine what a child would think about a book and then somehow get more out of it because a child would get more out of it. Some people can do that, like my sister Megan, but I cannot.
All that I can do is like something for who I am now and the personal filters and needs I have now. Even if I did try to guess what a child might think or react I would probably get such guesses wrong. I mean with my younger siblings I rarely was able to gauge what they would like or feel comfortable with.
Even if I did guess what a child would like does that mean that I have liked it any more or less? I don’t think so. If I like it, I like it. It’s that simple. I can respect it and realize it just isn’t for me but I can’t look through kid goggles and pretend to enjoy something that I’m not enjoying. Other people seem to be able to do this but I can’t.
Now if someone asks me ‘do you think Madeline will like this book?’ then I can go back and think of that particular teen/child and decide if they would like it but making a judgement of ‘well I thought it was boring but I think the kid-me would have liked it’. That’s probably not going to happen.
It might just me but it seems like the older I get the more picky I am but then again I like my share of indefensible fluff so who knows. I guess I like what I like and sometimes what I like changes. Is that convoluted enough for you?
What about you guys- do you find there are things from your youth that are hard for you to get into as an adult? What is it?