Sunday, June 22, 2008

Good Instincts


Rob calls the other mothers and writers that I have met through on-line classes and blogging, my imaginary friends. I think he finds the whole thing a tad bit strange. I try not to remind him about all of his fantasy sports leagues and the imaginary games he plays every week with his imaginary squads but anyway... One of my imaginary friends, Caroline Grant, is now the editor of a new anthology called Mama PhD - a real, live book! What is doubly exciting about is that I have actually met this friend in the real world. As our small world would have it, while Caroline lives in California, her sister lives in Richmond. We met while she was visiting last spring. And my Caroline was also able to meet Caroline's little boys...

All of this is the long back story to the interesting story (I swear!) of last week. Caroline's (Grant not mine!)book arrived in the mail late last week. As it was a package from the UPS man, the girls were very excited to see what was inside. I tore open the package and showed the girls the books I had ordered. Mama PhD and another fantastic anthology that I will have more to say about in future posts- The Maternal is Political. Caroline's first reaction was "Oh, Mommy books." but her face lit up as I reminded her of our meeting with this book's author.

She was so excited to begin reading. I tried to explain that it was a book about the challenges of being a mom while working in academia but my explanation fell on deaf ears. She knew the author of this book and she was going to read it.

She leafed through one page after another as I bathed Katherine. She placed it on her pillow while she showered. And I read half of the introduction aloud as she lay in her bed. When her interest clearly waned, I began to close the book. "Bookmark it Mommy! So that we can read more tomorrow... " And I swear, she pulled it back out the next night.

When I sent Caroline an e-mail describing my Caroline's excitement over knowing the author of a "real" book, Caroline's response was "She has good instincts."

I often think of the ways that Caroline and I are alike. In these thoughts, though, I tend to focus on the negative. In this example, though, I had not thought of our similarity because it was so obvious. I did not find it noteworthy that my 4 year old was awed by knowing an author. To me, authors are like celebrities. I would sooner meet Anne Lamott than Brad Pitt.

Now that I am thinking though, I am so lucky to have a little girl who loves books. I am so lucky to have a little girl that is so impressed by someone's ability to write a book that she will read a book even if she can't relate to it. I am so lucky to have a little reader.


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