Monday, June 30, 2008

Comment boxers in the ring

I love reading my comment boxes. There is usually a little surprise waiting for me there - a new acquaintance, a different perspective, an interesting idea. Of course, my blogging mob is excruciatingly polite so I haven't had to contend with any nasties (one day, I may demand to receive only challenging and scathingly honest comments. Or maybe not.) In fact, I have one Anonymous who is the loveliest Anonymous I have ever met. Anonymous introduced me to a writer called Alice Hoffman, I know...now...that she's famous and prolific...but I had never heard of her before, and now, thanks to Anonymous, I have a new favourite author.

I am writing this as a way of trying to answer rw's question regarding how I decided to write about parenting as "phases of reading". Or something like that anyway. Well...I borrowed about six or seven Alice Hoffman books from the library, to start with, so that started me thinking of how exciting it is to discover a new author, and what the librarian must think of me. Then...in one of Hoffman's books which I proceeded to read...I think it was "The Ice Queen," yep, it was, the protagonist is a librarian and she tries to understand people through checking up on their library book borrowing. Then one of the books I borrowed had a picture of a baby on its cover (a wee little thing, wrapped in a blanket and sleeping in a dresser drawer!) and so that made me think of my kids as newborns.

Then, another thing which made me write what I did in the last post was the fact that my daughter is learning how to drive. I was very excited and proud of her as she went off with her teacher every week and she was making great progress. Then....it was time for me to sit in the car with her as she drove me around...and I completely freaked out. I shrieked and yelled and grabbed the wheel until she pulled over to the kerb, and parked, and then we both looked at each other and I realised that this business of having teenaged children is far too real for me.

I admitted it to my daughter - I needed to get help. So I signed up for a two-hour workshop for parents teaching their kids how to drive, and it was to be helped (I mean "held", but that is a great typo so I need to keep it in) at my local library. So off I went to the course on Wednesday night, and I walked into the seminar room and twenty heads turned to look at me and the teacher said "Can I help you?" and I asked "Is this the learner-drivers' parents' workshop," and it wasn't. I got the day wrong, it was going to be on Thursday. Tomorrow.

So, it was 6:30pm on a Wednesday night, and I had already arranged for my husband to come home early to do the tennis-training lift scheme thing, and I had already made dinner in neatly labelled tupperware containers, and I had already put on my "going out" trousers and I had even put on some lipstick. So, naturally, I stayed in the library and browsed for a couple of hours. And that's when I discovered another new author - Oh Banana Yoshimoto, I feel that it must have been fate that made me mark the workshop on the Wednesday of my diary, yes, we were meant to have met on that fateful evening. Banana Yoshimoto, you rock!

You see - it seems that whenever I ponder the meaning of child rearing, and whenever I search for a new teacher in this strange art of mothering, I find myself back in the library, holding a new book, and feeling a little better.

I wonder if I unswered your question rw? and yes, that "unswered" is another typo which I just had to keep in, because it's just too good to edit. I suppose, if nothing else, I would like this post to show that my comment boxers mean a great deal to me. So...thank you all, and please keep boxing!

8 comments:

blackbird said...

I thought people had been punching each other and I had missed it.
You've unswered it all, I think.

laura said...

I am your anonymous and I think you're pretty neat too : )

I'm thrilled you love Alice Hoffman! Her words and the worlds she create are just magical and I feel the same about your writing. You really do have a gift.

Thank you for making my day.

RW said...

Thanks Eleanor.
I love to read too. I have been reflecting on your post the last few days - thinking of my own phases relative to my children. I don't know Alice Hoffman either so I shall check it out. I also very much enjoy the thrill of discovering a new author - cracking open the first book and realizing half way through that there is so much more goodness to come.

Esti said...

oh Banana Yoshimoto, I like her too!!
I love reading posts like these.

Jeanette said...

Oh my you are a joy to read. I have been away for a few days and had lots and lots of lovely posts to catch up with in your blow. A feast! I agree with Laura - you really have a gift. One day maybe I will be able to look you up in the library.

Lovely places libraries by the way although I`m a bit old fashioned and haven`t really come to terms with the fact that you are allowed to have your cellphone on nowadays.In Sweden at least! I want it quiet and sort of hushed like in a church. It makes it so much more exciting to hunt for new books if you have to tip toe around and watch out for the stern librarian....

Lots of love to you
Jeanette

And yes the jacket and pashmina is mine...

bluemountainsmary said...

I have got very lazy I have realised and just buy whatever book takes my fancy. Lazy in that I do not think that lends itself to browsing.

So on my list of things to check out !!! when I move back to Sydney is the local library.

karin-odlar-sin-trädgård said...

As always I'm thrilled by reading your posts, it's like reading a good novel. And now you mention to authors I have never heard of which means that I too have to check them (but I won't read seven books even though I admire you for doing so). I wonder about the name Banana... luckily I have internet to look thing up.
Sorry for not writing in my blog in English for a long time but yesterday I did...

Maria said...

Hello Eleanor!
I have been on a travel with my family for two weeks and know I have a lot to read here...maybe to much for me=) I think it's even more difficult because it's on the computer. It's easier to read from paper! Maybe just for our generation...the young people maybe read better from the computer than from a paper...?
I write here in your commentbox, just so you know I have been here...even if I didn't read all ypur word (that I know is fantastic!!)