Books, Bookshelves, Gluttony, Desire, and Breakdowns

SDRandCo (2)

Yesterday, I shared this update on my personal Facebook page:

I have a problem. I am not a civilized reader. I read like a glutton or a hoodlum – gobbling what I can from as many books as I can all at the same time. It’s a disaster. It is not calm. It is not ladylike. I’m a depraved book junkie. It is hopeless, I’m afraid. There are half-eaten sentences flung over the back of the sofa and strewn all through the house, apostrophes are dangling from the lampshades and exclamation points are tearing up the kitchen floor with dance.

Ben and I had started the day looking at the Writing Studios of Famous Writers, their desks, their books piled everywhere, and their glamorous, enormous, floor-to-ceiling bookshelves. I nearly cried. I cannot find any great photos that I can share without permission, but a quick Google Search will give you more than you can ever handle of bookshelf envy.

We did a little work on the hieroglyphs, and watched a video, but I was off. It wasn’t my best day.

Today was a skip school day. I had computer tech support issues that kept me on the phone all morning for work. Half the time I was in tears, because help desk people are so maddeningly unhelpful.

I am currently reading about how the brains of children develop and how to assist them in integrating their left and right brain functions. New discoveries are showing that the remapping of neurons and their little dances across synapses can happen throughout life – not just in young brains. It is entirely possible to retrain ourselves to have different, calmer, more centered reactions to even the most complex stimuli and stresses – even children!

So, throughout the help desk call, I’m working really hard to stay calm and not start throwing things. I’m jittery and emotionally fragile and compromised by the time we go to pick up Bean.

We go to get haircuts, and our lady Barber asks how we are liking home school. Ben scowls and says he’s miserable. My eyes start crying no matter how strong and nonchalant I am trying to appear.

Connie says, “Looks like mom could use a spa day,” and the tears just start to flow. I’m not sobbing, yet, but my face is leaking.

On the way to the car, and after I hug Connie way too hard, the boys ask me why I’m crying. I say that it really hurts my feelings for Ben to talk about being miserable when I’m trying so hard to keep his interests first and foremost and bring so much inventiveness and fun to our lessons.

The drive home is spent listening to loud music and pouting. At home, I’m making lunches and can barely breathe because I’m crying so hard. Maybe we chalk this up to one of those things we tried, but it just didn’t work. I so want it to work, and my heart is breaking, and I’m so dang tired.

Then Ben sidles up to me and says, “You wanna know why I say I hate home school, Mom?”

Yes, please. And at the same time, do I really want to hear this?

“I just say it to fit in,” he says. “What kid my age is going to say he likes school? Only nerds say that. But the truth is, I like it. I think it’s fun. I’m just not going to say that in public.”

And he hugs me tight, and puts all my broken-hearted little pieces back together again like that.

Still, I’m wiped out from the journey to the edge and back.

photo from here

3 thoughts on “Books, Bookshelves, Gluttony, Desire, and Breakdowns

  1. I shed 2 tears. One we he said he said he’s miserable and one we he said he loves it. It is a testament to you that he understood your pain and wanted to fix it. Kudos.

    1. When I told my mom about this, I had to give her the promise of a good ending first, because I knew she would be on the same roller coaster as I had been unless I prefaced it with the end in mind.

      He is my Poet-Warrior. He can wreak havoc, but then he is always the best at calming the storm afterwards.

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