I’ve said before I don’t want to write anything I wouldn’t want my grandchildren to read. A few weeks ago, “out of the mouths of babes” it became crystal clear why I shouldn’t read what I didn’t want them to read either.
I belong to a book club which reads mysteries. Most I’ve liked. Others, I’ve plowed through. The discussions are always interesting and instructive, whether the book has rattled my cage or not. A few weeks ago, we were assigned a book by a very popular contemporary author. I’d never read any of his books, but I was game to try.
So, when I went to stay with the Small Person and the Wee Bear Cub one Saturday night, I took the book along to read while they were otherwise occupied and later asleep. The WBC had succumbed to a gentle back rub and several songs, and the SP was snuggled in bed indulging herself in her own reading matter. I hadn’t read much of my book before I realize it was, quite plainly speaking, filthy.
Enter the SP--my eight-year-old little buddy who’s so much like me it’s spooky. She came into the den and glanced at the cover of the book--which I hadn’t even looked at. (I tend to jump in and start reading.) Her little eyes grew round. “Oh, Mimi, are you reading that?”
I launched into an explanation of the book club and assigned books and all that. She wasn’t buying a word of it. “Oh, Mimi, don’t read that book. It’s not nice, is it?”
Then I looked at the cover and cringed. When I got home, I put the book away.
Fast forward to Monday when I picked up the girls at school. With the WBC amusing herself in another room, I knew it was now or never. So I said to the Small Person, “Do you remember that book I was reading the other night?”
She nodded, her eyes again round with horror.
“Do you remember what you said to me?”
“I said don’t read it. It wasn’t nice, was it?”
When I told her I’d decided not to read it, her smile lit up the room--and my heart.
“Remember we’ve talked about how God gives us nice clean minds and hearts and souls, and how it makes Him sad if we don’t take care of them.”
She nodded. We’ve had the talk many times before when she’s told me something she’s heard at school.
“If I read something like that, I can’t tell you not to read similar things, can I?”
She shook her head.
So the conversation ended, but she will remember it forever.
And I will, too.