Dada, I want my Ham

Having a 2-year-old son and being a teacher has been cause for recovering a lot of long-forgotten childhood memories. Most of them are the silly little things that I did which no one really needs to know. Those are the ones I smile about privately in the moment and make a mental note to dwell on later.

Most recently, my son has gotten attached to Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss. It’s a fun little book, as most people know, that is full of neat little repetative phrases and phonetic sounds. He calls it, “My Ham,” and he walks around the house with it tucked under his arm with the same reverence as his blanky and his puppy.

Tonight it got me to thinking about the first time I read the same story. I think it was the first book I ever checked out of the library. I lived across the street from the town library as a little kid, and I think I was probably in first grade when I got my first library card. It was about the size of a credit card with a little metal doo-dad on it that had my card number embossed on it. I remember thinking I was the coolest thing in sneakers to have a library card. Now that I look back on it, I had the same feeling when I got my driver’s license.

I was so excited to read Green Eggs and Ham that I was walking and reading at the same time. That’s not allowed, my mother told me. I read it as soon as I got home — so quickly that my mother had barely finished preparing lunch or dinner, whichever. I immediately wanted to go back to the library and get another book by such an amazing doctor.

Well, Green Eggs and Ham wasn’t the last book I checked out. I also checked out all of the Frog and Toad books, too. But that’s about all I remember. There was quite a while when I lost interest in books and reading. Through most of grade school and middle school I could barely spend the time reading what was required of me for school. Nothing in print was as interesting as watching the “Incredible Hulk” or playing with my Nintendo. Only in high school did I find anything to read that interested me, and even then it was still a struggle. I enjoy reading now, but I have to struggle to find the time between chores and family time. So, I read with my son. We read Green Eggs and Ham. And of all those little things my son does that I did, I hope one isn’t to lose interest in reading.

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