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The theme this year is Stretch Your Mind. Stretch Your Body. Stretch Your World. And they have nine different ways to do it.
The first is to re-read a book you loved as a child. So, I'm reading Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren, which was one of my favorites. I want a horse on my veranda and a monkey named Mr. Neilson! And I really really want to host a pancake/croquet breakfast at some point.
You know that line from Meg Ryan's character in You've Got Mail? "When you read a book as a child it becomes part of your identity like no other reading in your life can." Well, I whole-heartily agree. Some say that books and reading are forms of escapism, but I really don't think so. I read to find myself. I think children read in order to discover parts of themselves they hadn't known about before. Children read differently than adults because they use books as launching points for their imagination, while adults read superficially, leaving the book as soon as they close it.
If you think about it, imagination really is about creating stories, truths, morals, and images internally, rather than externally, which is a rare ability in today's society. So many people I know look for guidance outside of themselves, either through social mores, religious doctrine, or celebrities, and by doing so, I think they miss the depth of life. Reading changes people when they're young because it forms an inner compass. Socializing only forms an external dependence on "what others think".
Anyway, enough rant. It was barely intelligible, so I apologize. That's not to say it won't happen again though. Moral of the story: teach your kids to read, and to read regularly.