Today is Monday, one of the days when I promised myself I would write on my blog. Because every single thought that roams through my brain is so interesting, it must be set down in words. I'm just that special.
Monday does not make me feel particularly special, however. Today has just been a day, a wearing-out kind of day; the kind of day when you get out of bed, put your feet on the floor and then re-think this whole concept of productivity, good citizenship and virtue and think, "Nah. I'm going back to sleep."
We did go to the library today. Meelyn got a series of books that she has been longing to re-read. And we stayed long enough that I got an hours' work done at a quiet table while the girls used the computers that our friends, Bill and Melinda, donated to the library. That made Aisling happy, although she didn't need to check out any new books: she checked out the entire Great Brain series by humorist John Fitzgerald the last time we were there and has been delightedly plowing through them, shrieking with laughter and reading me paragraphs and entire pages that remind me not only of Tom's insane exploits, but also of doing the same thing to my mother, thirty-five years ago. I adored those books and read them a thousand times. It was so much fun giving The Great Brain at the Academy to Aisling one day when she had nothing to do but hanging around me like kudzu, whining and looking for trouble.
"Here," I said, taking the battered little paperback, a relic of my childhood, from the shelf. "Read this. It's one of the funniest books I ever read."
"It looks very dumb," said Aisling dubiously, offering unabashed disrespect to the sweet drawings of Maurice Sendak. She took it, looked at it again, and sighed. "I'd rather go get ice cream, if it's all the same to you."
"The ice cream place is closed for the season," I said, going back to my computer monitor, stubbornly refusing to look at her again. It just encourages her to keep pestering.
"Ohh," she said, crestfallen. Then, brightening, "How 'bout the Olive Garden, then?"
I also checked out a whole new pile of books on ancient Greece; they are sitting there on the table in the utility room we devote to library books, car keys, junk mail and the occasional potato, beckoning to me, begging to be read. I love history.
We went to return a movie at Blockbuster, and on our way passed the gym where the girls have had so many practices and matches this season, which ended on Friday with tears and cheers and hugs and promises to keep in touch until next June brings volleyball camp back around. It was very melancholy, passing the gym. Not melancholy enough to get the girls involved in one of those year-round leagues, you understand, but sad enough.
The rest of the afternoon passed in a haze of schoolwork, enlivened by the fact that Meelyn, who is always, always, tearfully and melodramatically convinced that she has done every single math problem completely wrong, discovered that she hadn't missed nearly as many as she thought. She went from a bowed-down girl speaking in a voice foggy with tears to a smiling, pert little rossie, cheerfully chirping like a spring robin.
"I didn't do so badly after all," she said with satisfaction, slamming the book. I studied her with a narrowed, sidelong glance, thinking of all the grief she's been putting me through, every Monday morning with every math lesson and debated making a cross remark, but held my tongue. At least she's doing better than she thought and not worse!
We did have a clash later on about the snail-like pace with which she is reading The Yearling, while capably breezing through thick and entertaining novels about princesses and knights and quests for glory with a rapidity that makes a cool breeze come off the pages. I won that go-round by firmly assigning chapters to be read; chapters that must be read before she can immerse herself in her Wayne Thomas Batson series.
We're getting ready to tuck into The Adventures of Tom Sawyer with our group of middle-schoolers from ARCHES, so at least I won't be on my own anymore.
She just stopped by my desk on the way to the kitchen and told me that she loved me. What a sweetheart. She also reminded me that I have to write about the conclusion of the volleyball season for the primary reason that she played brilliantly -- brilliantly!! -- in the last several matches and feels the need for public recognition of her skills. Hee! Who better than a mom to toot a girl's horn?
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