I love books. I used to be very particular about the ones I owned. I read them very carefully so they wouldn’t get too creased (a little crease on the spine never hurt but if I could manage to keep the spine in the same condition as it was when I bought it, then even better!), and if they did get too worn out and if I loved the book, then I bought a new one to put on my shelf. I even caught myself telling Addie she had to respect books and be very gentle with them.
But along comes my newest one, the eight-month-old who is all over the place, crawling, pulling herself up, putting everything in her mouth, and tiring me out to no end. And she loves getting her hands on my books. Whenever she sees the newest one I’m reading, her eyes light up (I know because she smiles and those eyes disappear into tiny, happy crescents) and she heads straight for it. She’s tired of her toys but she never grows tired of whatever book I’m reading at the moment.
I even gave up and let her play with this book for a while hoping she’d grow tired of it. But it never happened. In the end, I had to rescue it before she tore it to shreds.
The poor book. Its state would have my fellow book lovers gasping in shock and dismay. Disappointment in me too, maybe. But that’s what happens when you’re a mom. At a certain point, you say, oh just let her play with it. Of course she cannot have the kindle, kobo, or my cell phone (she might short something with her drool or hurt herself someway, somehow) but when you can relax the rules, you find yourself bending what you never thought was bendable.
And I say it makes us better people. Not because we allow our kids to be destructive but because it loosens up our rigidity and reminds us that when it’s not that important, we can take a breather too.
PS. I thought this book, Tiare in Bloom, was wonderful. The third in Celestine Vaite’s Materena series. Deserves to be patched up with some tape just in case my girls want to read it when they’re older.