We love our local libraries. The four branches we frequent are wonderful in their own ways. One has a fantastic story hour. Another boasts shiny new facilities. There is a library biking distance from our house. And the last is good for rainy days because it sits by the mall with a soft play area.
Each week we check out about 15 books and maybe a movie or story dvd. I’ve been documenting the children’s books we read together on Goodreads.
The other day I realized this is one of those things that keeps me going as a mom. (Do you have these things?) The books I read to my kids act as tangible measures of my motherhood. It’s not a legalistic thing, like if I don’t read 30 minutes a day it doesn’t mean I’m a bad mom. I just feel awesome when I scan the books in to the app and “mark as read.”
Since this rhythm is steady for us, I thought I’d make a habit of sharing some of our recent favorites. (title links open Amazon, author links open Goodreads)
Theo, tight fisted, dozes under the piano for an early morning nap. Archer has yet to wake. Robert prays and reads at his desk. I situate myself between my (getting cold) coffee, water, toast, and books.
The books. Here’s the thing. I have a bad habit of reading for a few weeks and then taking a long break where I just don’t feel like reading. Shelves of our books beg me to give them a chance, yet still just the other day I attempted to start a random ebook off the digital “to read” list I keep. It’s silly.
This morning, feeling inspired, I remind myself to hide the evil ipad so Archer will not be tempted to w-a-t-c-h. (We have to spell it out like that in our house, do you?) Out of sight out of mind, I hope. So no reading ebooks for me today! Or anyday, really.
Anyway, the books. They beckon me to that shelf in the corner and really I’m having trouble picking one. Something short would put me back in the habit of reading after feeling the satisfaction of finishing a book. Poetry seems manageable. Still, I can’t pick just one so I take “Night” by Elie Wiesel. It’s thin.
…And I pick up “Possibility of Being” by Rilke. The first two pages have me transported to another realm. I feel as though I’ve dipped into the Kingdom of God. Fighting off the urge to run in and interrupt Robert’s quiet, I want to savor this moment.
These verses possess life, and Rilke breathes into my day. A new week marinated in poetry–Monday given wings by these words.
our days begin with the squeaky morning sounds of a little person. next come cuddles, coffee, oats. papa goes off to work. archer is already bored… so we go out for a walk. i listen to audiobooks [currently: the year of the flood] and wander the streets, parks, and of course the arboretum. every now and then my little passenger snoozes, but usually he’s sitting up stock straight, alert. such an inquisitive, energetic boy. always “woowoo” at the dogs and waving “hi” at the humans. pointing at any and everything and vocalizing with a constant question mark in his tone.
rarely do i remind myself to bring along the small black box with which i once took photos regularly… it lives buried deep in my bag, hidden from clumsy toddler hands… but there was this one day last week that felt particularly special and memorable. it’s not often you find a robin’s egg shell [twice last week!] or amble down the conifer path for the first time. i have a few photos to show for it.
i prefer my route to be ever-changing, but i’m nearing the edges of my walking radius. i stroll down the same streets day after day. yet it’s possible to see something new if i look closely. many commonplace things are lovely and can be appreciated again and again. for example, i had never noticed the bright yellow “boston” garbage can. what i mean is, when you see something for the first time the entire landscape is novel. it’s a totally new image to store in your mind. if you pass by again, aim to notice another detail. the streets in springtime wear completely different expressions than they had in winter. i am thankful for changing seasons. each new season is a gift, truly. i am thankful for new perspectives. and always, i am thankful for my son who helps me look at everything as if for the first time.