I’m listening to my student teacher read Walk Two Moons today. We are getting close to the end, close to the part I dread, which is when Gram dies. I’ve been dreading this moment. But I did not expect to get so emotional today. I had forgotten the part where the mother in the story loses her baby. Of course, I knew this happened, but for some reason I always linger on Gram not the baby. Today I’m lingering on the baby.
The class gasps as she reads, saddened at this loss. My heart aches and I realize, that I know Sal’s mom better than I ever have. I can imagine the pain and wild thoughts she must have had. The blame. Her deep need to get away. Now that I am a mother I can connect with these characters in a way I never have before.
We build our humanity through reading and what we bring to it. Our sum total of life experiences colors how we experience a text. That is what real readers do.