How ironic. The teacher-librarian’s daughter doesn’t read.
Two years have passed since my son and daughter departed for college, emptying my nest. I watch these adult siblings now weaving their individual lives and look for threads that still connect us. One of those threads is our love of words. Spelling bee champs, Scrabble competitors, voracious readers—we are Wordies.
Susannah Q. Pratt
About a third of the way through a book, I would stop and flip to the end. Not to the last page of the story, spoiler-style, but rather all the way to the “Acknowledgements” section. No matter how gripping the narrative, I would pause and turn to review this section in the back.
I want too much. I shouldn’t have come on this research trip with a five-month-old baby.
Three and four pounds when they were born at thirty weeks gestation, their own struggle to survive, each time I recall it, takes my breath away. Perhaps the journey that made me face my own demise began with their birth and not with my cancer.
I could construct my own little world, but it could never totally camouflage the chaos lurking underneath.
I have come half-addled to a precious week of writing. It is mid-winter and the holiday season has been rough and ragged with a young adult son home for the week, all of us struggling with changing roles. There’s also something wrong with my throat. The metaphor unfolds.
My son is asleep in bed, my husband is overseas for work, and I’m taking advantage of the free evening to tidy our walk-in storage cupboard. I’m doing well. I’ve already got a bag of old electricity bills to haul …
Hannah Baker Saltmarsh
[T]here is so much richness, variety, and messiness that new mothers stand to gain, not only in altered writing habits, but also in observing the language acquisition and the speech of a child.
Free writing is like singing a line. Waiting for what works, what makes my insides churn, and figuring out what’s happening, what it means, how to do it again and again and again. In that air-conditioned library room, all hushed tones, I wanted to stand up and shout. I know this. I know what this is. It’s all there is.
My goal is to teach them to enjoy and appreciate the flow that comes when you focus completely on something, to nurture a love of time spent with oneself in a singular pursuit.
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