I like stories, I always have. I remember many, many hours as a young girl curled up in my bed surrounded by a stack of library books. I’d read a chapter book a day and would return to the library the following week for six or seven more. I read the Babysitter’s Club stories and Sweet Valley Twins, and classics like The Secret Garden and The Princess. The books of my tween years gave way to more complex stories in my teen years, many of which I’ve long forgotten the titles and details of, but which I recall keeping me immersed and engaged for hours.
I was the oldest of four children born to my young mother within six years. I spent a lot of time by myself reading or playing with neighbor kids. Those stories kept me company while my mom was changing diapers, cleaning the house, making meals. For years, I confess, I wondered why my mother didn’t have more time to spend with me…why so many of my childhood memories are of me, by myself, reading a book or playing with dolls.
I also confess…I get it now. I realize she was so busy with the tasks of taking care of four children, that she was likely relieved that I enjoyed the stories in those books so much. That I had something of value to keep me company while she labored away as best she could.
Now that being a mother is part of my story I find myself trying to figure it all out…how to do ALL that the job requires of me, but also be as engaged in my girls lives as possible. How to continue crafting my own story, but also be a big part of shaping theirs?
There is much more one could say about this, but my five minutes is up…perhaps another day!