Sunday, August 16, 2015

Sunday Salon: Transitions--Just Read The Book Already!

We're in our usual countdown to school here what with trying to reenter our noraml lives after vacation, dance tryouts, voice lessons, and school supply shopping. We have soccer skills stuff and play tryouts looming. My to be reviewed stack has taken on its usual gargantuan, out of control after summer without consistent wifi shape (one that I rarely recover from, incidentally). But these are the things that I always expect at this time of year. School starts in just over one week, ya know. When I held up the books and summer reading projects to nag each of my children, the responses I got varied. One child has read his book but not touched his project. He doesn't get any extra points for having read more than one book from the list if he doesn't complete the project. One child is about half way through her book. She finds it boring and since there's no project associated with it, she fails to see the urgency. And one child said he can read his book in a day or less (he hasn't even touched it yet). This latter comment is true as all of my children are lucky enough to be fast readers like their mama.

But the child waiting to read his book still has to pack up all of his clothes and do the remaining bit of dorm room shopping with me too. He wants to spend his time saying goodbye to friends and lounging around rather than do any of this boring stuff, which includes reading a book not of his choosing. Yes, this year I have a chick leaving the nest for college. It's a big transition. For him and for me. This summer reading book is the last homework I'll nag him about doing. And I'm okay with that. I don't like nagging about homework anyway. But I sure do wish he'd get on it. Maybe he's trying to keep me focused on the book rather than on him leaving? I gotta say, it's working! Maybe I should focus on nagging his sister to do her own college applications and trust that the kid leaving home will manage to get done what he needs to get done. Or maybe I should let it all go and focus on my own ridiculous list of unreviewed books. Yeah, maybe that's what I'll do. (Ask me later how that's working for me--or just come back on Mondays and see if my list has shown any improvement or if it's still as out of hand as the weeds in the flower garden after me being in and out for the past two months.) I think I'm doing a pretty good job at letting him go. But this not reading the book thing is really getting my knickers in a knot. How do you handle big transitions like this? Do you focus on one small thing that just niggles like a splinter under the skin so that you have to poke at it over and over or are you laissez-faire about the whole thing? And yes, I get that it is typical of me to focus on the book rather than the other million and one unfinished items. But hey! I can't change who I am.

This past week I have been traveling all over in my books. I watched as two friends grew up in a small Southern town. I traveled across the country to rescue a dog from a dognapper. I learned about the Milwaukee food scene as a chef and a restaurant critic fell for each other. I sat at the anchor desk at a cable news station with a daytime anchor conflicted about the changing role of her job and her attraction to her co-anchor. I leanred about bread making in Seattle as a baker worked through an unexpected divorce. I followed the Allied troops on their push to liberate Paris as a female photographer and a female journalist raced to be the first to file from the newly free city. Now I am plunging twenty-seven stories through the air with a goldfish. Where have you been in your reading travels this past week?


  1. I love traveling through books. And my tbr list just keeps growing and growing. I wish your chick an easy transition from home to collage. And a calm about it for yourself.

  2. Great article! I know the moving in of the college student will be rough. I'm more than willing to be a backup person in High Point if he ever needs someone.. Good luck.

  3. It's so strange to think that your oldest is headed off to college....I always think of your children as so young! Good luck with the transition. It can be tricky.

  4. I'm afraid I haven't traveled much in my reading this summer... but this week I hope to start The Little Paris Bookshop and return to my favorite European city :)


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