Finding Words (Repost)

We are there to pick up books. Not cozy mysteries, romantic thrillers, young adult dramas, or preschool serials. Just books: free books.

I admit free is part of the fantasy.

And, there is a fantasy. The moment I read about the Book Thing—a warehouse stuffed easel to easel with books of all topics, languages and genres—ok, so I don’t think such a description existed, but surely it was implied—I fantasized about finding the perfect book. The book I absolutely needed, right then.

I am a believer that when I need to find something, I find it.  This is not the same as believing if I lose something I will find it.  It’s better. A lot of things happen by chance, by design, or divine, and some things—like the right words at the right time—just happen.

At the Book Thing, my 3 children—a teenager, a middle schooler and a preschooler—pick up books indiscriminate of subject matter (more or less). I pick up books I had long forgotten, like the Bobbsey Twins (after reading it with my 4 year old, I remembered why I had forgotten it), a mystery or two. My daughter finds a Spanish book; my boys find books on space and antiquated books on culture around the World. For my little one we all find something.

To the 18 books we leave with that day, there is little thought given.  One book in particular I pick up because it’s a children’s book written by Lucille Clifton.

It isn’t until evening, my 4 year old ready for the evening’s literary adventure, when I find the words I didn’t known I was ready to speak.

I talk a lot about dating—with my friends, my family, online.  But, not with my children.  Until now.

I struggle with balancing dating with raising a family. As I figure out what is important to me in my relationships, I don’t want my children meeting multiple men I may or may not want to know well. So they don’t meet anyone and of the men I date, I rarely speak.

Common sense tells me when I am ready to introduce them to someone, I will. Until then—though I have no one in mind to introduce them to—I worry about it.

Usually, my children know when I am going out on dates. We have discussed dating in obscure terms, without absolutes.

Lucille Clifton’s Everett Anderson's 1-2-3  is a poem/story about a young boy’s perceptions when his mother starts dating. He is worried about sharing their time with someone else.  He’s worried about someone else taking his place. He is worried.

I sit with my little one explaining why the little boy in the story might feel this way.  I call to my oldest son, he listens. We talk about how he would feel in the boy’s situation.  I call to my daughter.  We talk.

We talk about dating in terms of absolutes: in terms of me.


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