Those of you who know me, or have read this blog, know that I love to read. I have always felt like I would really enjoy being in a book club. Making that happen, though, when I have three kids and a husband who works a lot, has been difficult (in fact, impossible so far, given the fact that I'm not IN a book club). Book club is something that I often think I'll add to my life once I have less parenting responsibilities (or at least don't have to find babysitters to do everything).
A few weeks ago, Gregory (9) brought home a permission slip that said that the librarian was offering a book club for kids in 4th and 5th grades who are interested. The kids who sign up are able to choose between two books (a more traditionally "boy" book and "girl" book), and they meet with the librarian twice a week (during lunch) for a month. Gregory, very excitedly, brought me the permission slip and as I signed it I said to him, "I think it's great that you want to be part of the book club. I would love to be in a book club." And dear Gregory responded by saying, "Mom, I think you would like the book we're reading. If you wanted to read it with me, I could take some of your ideas to book club and share them with the group."
Two things about his sentences struck me. First of all, I was thankful for his considerate response. He HEARD what I said, and he responded with the only thing he could think of that would help. Secondly, he didn't realize that HE was one of the reasons I couldn't be in my own book club. This is my (current) life: On the one hand, I'm not free to do all the things I know I would enjoy, because much of my focus in on raising my kids. On the other hand, because I'm dedicating so much of myself to raising my kids, every once in a while one of them responds to me in a way that makes me know how important (and rewarding) this life's work really is.
One day I will be in a book club all my own. I will read books, get together with other adults who have read them, drink wine and talk for as long as I want! But someday, all too soon, I will have to hear about Gregory's books over the telephone from somewhere other than my own home. While he's here, I will try to cherish these moments -- the glimpses of the man he will become -- and, rather than resent the things he keeps me from, I will look for the joy in (and give myself some credit for) the kid that he is and the relationship that we have!