As we all know, I like literature. I believe that one of the best things a parent can do to increase the future potential of a child is to read to him or her.
So it is no surprise, then, that Casey and I have already selected a littany of books to read to Baby over the course of the next 9 months.
What's that, you say? Baby can't actually hear anything for approximately 20 weeks? True. But that's not really the point, is it? Technically, baby can't "hear" anything at all; mostly just sound impulses, recognizing repetition in the cadence of sounds - not the meaning of words - anyway. But I'm convinced that Baby will pick up on whatever emotions I am putting off, and reading to Baby is not only soothing to me, but also extremely magical and amazing. Baby can only benefit from that!
We selected the books we would read carefully, looking for pieces that portray some characteristic that we want and hope Baby to have in his or her life. So, without further ado, and in no particular order, here are our literary selections for the next 9 months:
The Iliad - So that Baby will be strong and courageous throughout life. Also, we decided to start with this book right away because, in these first, sometimes perilous few months, we want Baby to be like a strong little warrior as he or she begins to grow. Grow strong, Baby Strassner!
Hamlet - Obviously in some ways not the best for families, considering the bizarre familial relationships (uncle kills father, mother marries uncle, son must avenge father). That being said, though, there are some redeeming qualities - namely, a profound sense of loyalty that we wish for our child. Not only family loyalty, but also having friends who are loyal and would do anything for Baby, as well as the importance of being worthy and deserving of such loyalty.
To Kill a Mockingbird - Because we wish, perhaps above all, that Baby will have a deep and unswerving wisdom, empathy and discernment, grounded in a strong moral center and sense of what is fair and what is right. Atticus Finch is one of my all-time favorite literary characters because he so fully and gracefully embodies all of these qualities.
Harry Potter - Partly so that Baby will be able to see the wonderful, magical possibilities in life; partly in the hopes that Baby will have a creative, problem-solving mind, enriched by just the right amount of mischeiviousness. Lastly, too, because we want Baby to always be on a path of self discovery; we hope that Baby will be true to whatever wonderful person he or she turns out to be.
Gone with the Wind - We chose this book for three reasons: First, because it is one of my all time favorite books. Also, it is a book that my mother read to me before I was born. I've always felt that - crazy as it sounds - that fact has influenced me throughout my life. Lastly, symbolically, we chose this book because we hope that baby will always know that "tomorrow is another day," so never quit, and never give up hope!
Peter Pan - Because the power and beauty of imagination is one of the greatest gifts any child - no, any person - could ever receive! I also wish for my son or daughter the kind of joy and whimsy that comes from seeing the world through the eyes of a child, and I very much hope that there will be part of him or her that never grows up.
I think these selections are solid, but we may come up with one or two more depending on how the timing goes. I am so excited! It is so amazing to know that I am already influencing and responsible for the little life inside of me! WOW!!!!!