Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Life for me ain't been no crystal stair

(Langston Hughes, "Mother to Son")

There are mornings I wake up with a verse of a song or a poem in my brain. This morning, it was the verse above from Langston Hughes. I first read it as a child in Cricket magazine. It is from a poem in which a mother tells her son that life is hard. As a 8-9-10 year old, I related. (I don't remember when I read the poem, only that we lived on Calle Guaymura...)

When I look back at my life, I wonder that I was introduced to such an inspirational poem so early, that I could have something to hold onto through the hard times.

I could go on--my life ain't been no crystal stair....but I don't want to play the victim this morning. And at 6:54 am, I don't have the resources to do much beyond whining. But for whatever reason, I needed to share this Langston Hughes poem with you.

Friday, I went to a conference on Early Literacy. Now, what I do at the library, storytimes for 6mos to 24mos, that's Pre-Literacy. So these people didn't even have the research about the amazing brain connections (pdf of "Make way for Dendrites") that happen in wee ones. I was a little disappointed.

But after lunch, we had our "lunch speaker." And I remembered the entire reason I signed up for this conference: it was to hear a true living treasure, Ashley Bryan. I won't bore you with the details now, as the sun is growing pink and it's time for my walk, but he had us all reciting Langston Hughes through call and response. (He'd recite a line, we recited it back.) He turned a room of women into five year olds again.

Ah, my walk calls me. I was at work until ten last night finishing up some travel books and in a few hours I'll have to shoe horn too many people into our teeny tiny program room because the library book sale is this weekend and so I can't have my usually roomy meeting room. Gotta go!

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