Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Mission Aborted

"And that's how Wacky Wednesday began."
This really is the page where
Tallulah's bookmark was found this morning.

Posted by Melissa Baumgart
My family walked to the library yesterday.  It was Tallulah's second time using her first library card, which meant she was returning her first library books.  The fact that these books were returned before the due date is a Baumgart Family Miracle.  The fact that she read all of these books is also quite impressive.  As Lily checked her books out, she was informed of some late fees (see what I mean), which she responsibly paid with her own money.  I watched from behind a shelf of books, wondering if I should be walking up to offer my motherly, if not monetary, help.

When I got to the self-checkout a bit later, the librarian popped over to my station.  I was ready to offer some excuse for our fines, or apologize for my kids being too loud.  But instead she offered this observation, "I just want to share with you that your children are very polite.  You oldest daughter was so responsible and mature, handling her late fees and talking with me when she checked out.  And she's so beautiful, she really rocks that short hair cut."  We joked some about the fact that my middle-schooler doesn't seem to be experiencing any awkward stage like those of us nearing forty painfully remember going through.  And I thanked her for sharing, since on my end, as the mother, I don't always get to see that side of my own children.

Should I have chosen something...easier?  More fun?
I can tend toward hands off parenting.  Sometimes I wonder if I should help more, like when I was watching Lily check out, and saw Levi walking to find me to get one more dollar for his sister to pay her fine.  But I think this allows them to discover their autonomy and independence.  To have interactions in a safe environment with adults that allows them to learn about the world they live in, firsthand.  Oh, and by the way, Levi returned with the dollar a few minutes later, "Lily didn't need this after all.  So, I am going to keep it, OK?"  "No," I replied and snatched it back.  See, this is the version of my kids I get to see.  

When we got home, Tallulah sat down to read and in one evening, my six-year-old read more than I did this past week.  By bedtime she had read "more than she had not read" (as she put it) of The Big Green Book of Beginner Books, by Dr. Seuss.  She read 138 pages.  I have been stuck at 72 pages for the past five days.

I woke up at 1am last night and sleepily made my way down our long hallway to the bathroom.  I heard something and turned to see Lily.

"What are you doing up, sweetie?"

"Oh, I am just going to bed.  I was reading that pink and green book I got from the library and I couldn't stop reading it so I finished the whole thing."

 "Wow, OK, well, get to bed," is what I said, half asleep.  But what I was thinking was, "Damn, both of my girls are showing me up today."

It is now Wednesday morning.  I did not read Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.  I did not finish any book this past week.  I am left with a choice.  Do, I trudge on through and attempt to finish the book I started?  Or do I pick something more fun and easy?  And sometimes, it is hard to know what will be fun and easy.  I know a friend that loved this spy book.

The truth is, this past week, I chose studying for school and being a mom over the blog.  Sure, if the book had been easier and more to my liking, I would have done all three things.  I typically do.  But this past weekend, Jamie was away at a silent meditation retreat and instead of reading all weekend, I chose to study some each day and spend the rest having fun with the kids.

We went to the Burke Museum, went bowling, found some supplies for a paper mâché solar system, shopped for ingredients for homemade ricotta cheese (we learned how to make it at a demonstration while at the museum), among many other things.  Lily and her BFF made us dinner Sunday night: fresh pasta pesto lasagna with homemade ricotta, caprese salad, breadsticks, and almond cake.  I even made an exception to my Healthival exemptions and ate everything!  It was all soooo delicious, especially the cake.  Just this morning I was still thinking about how happy I was that I chose to eat the cake.

Oh, and I even got to reconnect with a friend over tea.  It really was a lovely weekend.  So, to be honest, I don't feel all that bad (Not that I think you think I should, it's just that I usually think I should.  Feel bad, that is.) about the reading being left out.  I feel like I made my choice, with no excuses or regrets, and sometimes that is what we all must do.

How is all of your reading going?  Are you sailing along?  Or are you finding that you, too, need to make some choices when reality stands in your face?

Happy Wacky Wednesday!


M said...

I gotta mention!! I gotta mention! I'm, like, totally famous yo! F TTSS, being a mom and studying and doing all the other awesome stuff you did is waaaaay better than he book. You lived life, fully, and for hat you should be proud. Books will always be there to ale you away or educate or inspire......but they are there when you need them. As FErris Bueller said, "Life moves pretty fast, if you don't stop and look around once in a while you could miss it.". You stopped, looked at you kids in that Library, and didn't miss life.....I mean sheeeeet, a museum, ricotta, bowling?!?! These things are the zest of life, as most certainly so are books, but these things are fluid and moving and a day could have passed last week when one or more of these things could have been missed. I bet TTSP is in the same spot you left it, and it will be there to be picked up (or not) at your discretion. Life ain't no book. You live a good life now, ya'hear?

Melissa Baumgart said...

Thanks, M! Your comment was inspiring and heartwarming, not to mention funny too! But I gotta ask, what are you famous for? Or am I missing some fantastic literary reference???

Cassandra said...

Living life is more important than reading about someone else's! I think it sounds like you've had a wonderful week and you shouldn't feel the least bit guilty. That librarian gave you a huge compliment and you should be proud! :)

I've been reading, but not as much as I had planned. We finally got the ok to move to Seattle! Yay!! So I've been spending way too much time online looking at apartments and getting to know the Seattle area as much as possible.

Have a great rest of the week!

Cassandra said...

Melissa and Amy -

My husband and I have been trying to move away from Phoenix for six years. lol. I've been here since high school because my parents moved my family here. Then I just got stuck for awhile. Hubby moved out here to marry me and we've been trying to move since. Things never worked out until now.

We actually had our eye on Portland for the longest time. Then we visited Portland in October for a week, my first visit. We both loved it. While we were there, we took a day trip up to Seattle for a job interview. The job didn't come through but we fell in love with Seattle. It felt like home, even more so than Portland. Hubby had a meeting with his boss last week about his career and proposed that we be allowed to move and have him work remotely. Since he already works remote most of the time, it wasn't hard to convince the boss we could work out of Seattle as easy as working out of Phoenix.

We're just trying to get all of our finances in order so we can move! One last credit card to pay off, a car inspection on Friday to make sure our 154,000 mile car is road trip worthy, and then we can determine exactly when we'll have enough money to move. We're praying and crossing our fingers and hoping for mid-June. It's a perfect time to flee the Arizona heat!

I'm hoping to meet both of you as well!


Melissa Baumgart said...

It all sounds so exciting, making such a big move to a place that feels like home. My fingers will be crossed for you as well. I believe that it sounds like everything is heading this way, and that you have played an active role in making it all happen.

Let us know if we can help out at all with info on Seattle and the like. We would love to help make your move easier!

And thanks for the reminder of living life...sometimes when I set goals that turn out to not be attainable, it can be a very good reminder that life was lived! And in this case, not simply read about...but lived!

Cassandra said...

Melissa, I may have to take you up on your offer. :) I've been doing research on various neighborhoods but they all look good online. It's hard to know which areas are nice and which aren't!

M said...

Famous as having been mentioned in your public forum as the "friend" who really liked TTSS?? Maybe you were referencing a different friend. In which case I'm soooooo not famous and you can find me amongst the commoners.

Melissa Baumgart said...

@M I get it now...a "mention" as in on the blog. I read ti as, I gotta mention, like I gotta tell you all. I was super excited to hear how you were famous. And your are the friend. And that was not your first mention. You've been famous for a while ;)

@Cassandra...yep, let me know where you are looking.

Cassandra said...

Would it be possible to switch this conversation over to email? I don't mind including in my blog profile that I live in a specific city but I'd rather not share with the world which exact neighborhood I'm moving to! Especially not when we want to start trying to have kids. :)

If that's ok, you can email me at Thanks much!