My 5-year old grandson Max visited us this week, and our daily ritual was reading The Union’s comics and Kidspot.
Thursday’s Kid Scoop captivated Max’s attention as much as any electronic device. Watching him eagerly work the puzzles (with grandmotherly guidance) brought back lovely memories from my own childhood. The “funnies,” as we called them, have been as much a part of my life as brushing my teeth and chewing Bazooka Bubble Gum. (It is a good thing I brushed my teeth.) Perhaps the various comic strips have changed; I don’t know if “Dick Tracy” still exists.
What I do know is that the newspaper, particularly the comics, is a staple in my life — not the e-version, but the paper kind, that comes rolled up and appears with uncanny regularity. Living rurally, it means having to exert effort on my end to get the paper, perhaps walking in rain or snow. My delivery service is perfect, something I don’t take for granted. My first job was delivering papers. I walked our large neighborhood, hauling two heavy canvas bags. I knew then what I know now — reading the newspaper is ritual, and a late delivery messes with people’s habits.
I am going to start a new habit. Since my grandson’s family doesn’t get a daily newspaper, I am going to start clipping out Kid Scoop and mailing it to Max. This way he’ll get a bit of the paper, I will maintain my connection with him, and the ritual of reading real newspapers may survive another generation.