Last week was a crazy week with school ending, dance recital, and parties of all sorts. And when I feel too overwhelmed by the hamster wheel that is oftentimes my life, I reach for a book and head off to find a quiet corner. Reading grounds me. It takes me far from stresses, good or bad, everyday or extraordinary. Some days it really is the only thing that keeps me sane. And so I laugh as I get ready for bed when my husband plaintively asks after a very long day, "Are you going to read?" I suppose that watching tv is the wind-down equivalent for many people but I've never been much of a watcher. I have always lived mostly in my own imagination and in the words of the wonderful authors who offer me glimpses into their imaginations. There are few better places to be, in my opinion.
I wish my children would find this same sense of happiness between the covers of books and while I think that sometimes they do, I also wonder at their insistence that they don't want to. Has my constant reading inadvertantly caused a backlash by them? Experts all say that children need to see that their parents read and mine certainly have that but it hasn't followed that they submerse themselves and for that I am a little saddened. Yesterday at dance recital #3 of the day, in the 45 minutes to half hour before the show started, I looked up from my book and turned to my young ballerina. Overly made-up and costumed, she had curled into her seat and was completely engrossed in her book. A little oasis of calm in a sea of complete pre-show chaos. She must be mine after all.
Because of the stress of the week, I have been book hopping again and so this past week, I have visited the beach with a girl whose father abandoned his family, roamed the globe with a foreign correspondent's cat, faced the newly revealed truth of a serial adulterer with a distraught widow, fled an abusive husband only to meet a soul mate, made friends with a late husband's mistress (ironically this could be said to be true of two books this week--one fiction and one non-fiction), and traveled back in time into Peru to map longitude and latitude and answer conclusively the shape of the earth. Wonder where I'll go this week?