With my book club reading To Kill A Mockingbird it was easy to knock off #8 on my list (I may have casually suggested that we mix things up and read a classic).
When I first read this book 20 years ago it had a profound effect on me. I remember thinking if I ever had children someday, I would hope to instill in them the values of Atticus Finch.
I loved his hands-off, lead by example parenting style resulting in two fiercely independent kids having a clear vision of right and wrong. Not sheltering them from the fact that people can be cruel and bad things happen, while at the same time teaching them to see the good in people. To look at the world from another person’s perspective and be tolerant instead of judgmental.
Rereading this book also reaffirmed my choices of the middle names Atticus and Scout.
This time around I took more interest in the relationship between Jem and Scout. I watch Carson being such a caring and protective older brother now and wonder how their relationship will evolve through the years. My hope is that through their many stages, growing pains, struggles and successes, they step into adulthood not only sharing the bond of siblings but also emerging as good friends.
This story deals with dark issues but I came away with an appreciation for human goodness and kindness, for compassion, and was reminded the importance of community.