I have books all over the house, with the possible exception of the guest bathroom. Mostly, I try to keep the books I wouldn’t want my kids to read stacked next to my bed. But sometimes I forget, and leave a book I’d prefer my daughter not to delve into out in the open, where it’s fair game. I can always tell, though, when a book I’ve left somewhere has been moved — I’m freaky that way. So when I got home from running some errands this weekend, and noticed my copy of Wake on the kitchen island slightly askew, I knew immediately I hadn’t left it that way. And I knew who had. And since she looked at me looking at the book and rolled her eyes, she knew I knew as well.
We had company all weekend, so I waited until this morning to ask what she thought of the book. Of course, she liked it. She’d only read a few pages before someone had walked in and she’d put the book down. (Perhaps I should leave geometry textbooks out and pretend they’re off-limits, too.) She asked if she could read the whole thing, we discussed a bit about why I wasn’t comfortable with that, I asked if she had any questions, she said no, and we agreed she could try it out next year, in fourth grade, and then she moved on to asking me about the book I’m reading now, a fabulous historical mystery/romance called The Second Duchess, which she’d also managed to skim. (Note to self: housecleaning is important for more than hygiene.)
I don’t think I’m kidding myself here. If she really wanted to read either of these books, I’m sure she’d figure out a way to make it happen. At the moment, the exploits of a teen dream catcher and the doings of a Renaissance bride aren’t something she’s overly interested in, and while she’d be more than willing to delve into them if they were the only books around, she’s happily surrounded by stacks of her own reading material, so it’s not an issue. Today.
But it did spark a couple of conversations.
Me: “So, you noticed that the kids who were drinking were UNHAPPY, right? You got that?”
Her: “So, why do authors make stuff up about real people? They can do that? And what’s an arranged marriage?” Me: “Yes. It’s called historical fiction. And an arranged marriage is when your daddy and I pick out who you are going to marry. When you are 35.”
All in all, I think it went well.
Thanks to everyone who shared their thoughts last week. Christine was the lucky winner — I’ll be sending you a signed copy of Wake in the mail.