“Rest in peace, Beverly Clearly” was the first thing I saw when I opened Twitter this afternoon. The accompanying article confirmed this legend’s passing and I felt all the feels over this news. I quickly texted all my children then continued scrolling, reading the memories and thoughts shared. I connected to every single one of them.
Ramona a was a staple in my house growing up. But reading them as an adult to my young children felt even more magical. Laying in bed at night with my kids snuggled around we read the books in order, chapter by chapter. Ramona became part of our family as we giggled about her timeless antics and adventures. When we finished the series we visited the Ramona landmarks here in Portland, OR and took pictures with her statue. We still cheer when we are on that side of town and pass by Klickitat street. I loved the common conversation topic and everything that reading the Ramona series taught my children about reading and being a reader.
While revisiting a beloved character with my children was a treat, even more enchanting was the realistic glimpse into family living the books offered. As a new parent I had high expectations for myself and the family life I wanted my children to have. But these expectations aren’t always met. Mrs. Cleary and the Quimby family are so good at recognizing, displaying and honoring the imperfectness of family.
Coincidently, this afternoon, before the news of Cleary’s passing reached us, my daughter had started to rewatch the movie Ramona and Beezus. We marveled at this coincidence and after dinner we all sat down and watched it together. We giggled and we cried, every single one of us. We all related to the imperfectness and the love of the Quimby’s. What a legacy.