A little while ago I became a Patron of one of my heroes, Amanda Palmer. Being a Patron means I help to pay for her art. It means she can make the art & music she likes without needing a record company. Right now, she is 8 months pregnant & yesterday she stood naked in full body paint in front of the New York Public Library to raise awareness for literacy & gather books from supporters for needy children. She stood as a living replica of the Verity statue by Damien Hirst & as people dropped off books she moved to a new position. Anyone who has been 8 months pregnant will know standing still for any amount of time is difficult & painful so I was in awe of her efforts. Literacy is something Amanda obviously feels passionate about, as I do, so when she stated in a recent interview that her favourite children’s book is ‘The Velveteen Rabbit‘ I could not ignore what is for me, a meaningful coincidence.
In March this year I had a ‘books for baby’ shower for the baby we were finally about to have after 3 long years of trying. The idea was that instead of a gift I had asked all my girls to bring a book that they loved so we could kick start our baby’s library. One of my other heroes, my Mum, gave us ‘The Velveteen Rabbit‘. She even found a stuffed Velveteen Rabbit to go with the book.
My Mum is a children’s literacy specialist. At her school she runs a Reading Recovery program that continues to change lives. Recently that program was identified as one of the most important literacy programs in the world for improving the reading & writing of young children. Her passion for increased literacy in children is something I hope to pass on to my children. The Velveteen Rabbit was the first book I read to our son, Jack, when he was born in April & will always be a significant book to me.
For a long time I have believed that coincidences are special. To me, they are sign posts that tell me I am on the right track in life. I think this is a neon sign kind of coincidence. It reinforces my belief that, next to feeding & loving your child ,adequate literacy skills are right up there as one of the best gifts you can give any child.
I am so proud of my heroes for their efforts; they continue to inspire me & keep me on my path as I endeavour to be a successful parent to our son.