Reading by the water isn’t always peaceful and relaxing. I wish it was, but usually someone is screaming ( insert my children and usually they are screaming in the name of fun, usually). Often I can block it out, but it never truly amounts to the scene I have playing in my mind of what a day reading by the water should be.
About six or seven years ago there was a group of girls that I hung out with. We all had kids in the same age range and we tried to plan things during the day. In the summer months these things usually involved some kind of water like a pool or lake. Two of us in this group were avid readers as well as good friends. Along with all of the kid crap we packed, there never failed to be a few books tucked in our bags. Her and I always had books on the brain.
The group of us would slather on sunscreen, set out towels, get out arm-floaties, sand toys (if at the lake), and then hopefully get a few minutes to pseudo-relax ourselves-ha. As any parent of a small child knows, true relaxation just doesn’t happen until that kid ages out of certain ranges. Someone is hungry, someone is a wobbly walker, someone needs to poop or already has pooped in a gross swimmie-diaper (massive yuckles), and someone is always mad at something. Your adult conversations start and stop numerous times, you repeat everything, wait, what? My point, exactly.
By mid day when sun had somewhat taken its toll and the kiddos had been worn down a little, Reader Friend and I would take that as our cue to sneak in some reading time. The chatter wasn’t so loud, bellies were full, and everything was always a little more mellow by that point. This was more or less the gist of those days.
Skip to present day. That group for the most part has gone separate ways. Due to moves, jobs, different kid friends, etc. I’m still talk to a few of them occasionally and Reader Friend and I will always be friends. Recently another friend told me something that I never knew. She said, “Remember those summer water days with the kids?” “Of course,” I said. Well apparently one of the other moms during those times was always complaining about Reader Friend and I because we always brought books with us.
Huh? Who knew? I didn’t find her annoying because she never had a book with her, that tidbit should’ve been my first clue that we wouldn’t be close friends. I never judged anyone as we were all sitting there, I was too busy trying to read in between all the kid-happenings/crisis’. Surprise twist ending, Complainer Mom was one who I wasn’t sad to see move away (for other reasons) and that was obviously way before I knew of her strong dislike of my reading.
“Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them.”
– Lemony Snicket
PS. I’ve used this quote before, but it suited today’s post too perfectly.
This post is dedicated to Complainer Mom.