Saturday, May 21, 2011

gestating books

This is the one holy day that I anticipate more than Mother's Day. Father Son Campout. I have two boys and one husband and one glorious night off. I was going to clean or get caught up on laundry but instead I read and laid around and went shopping. Perhaps I don't need a daughter after all.

I have had so much on my mind lately that I really want to write down but of course there is never the time or opportunity to actually get it out. I took a writing class once and at the beginning of the class we all went around and introduced ourselves to the group. Most of the class members said something to the effect of "I just know that there Is a book inside of me and I just have to get it out." I'm fairly certain that I expressed a similar sentiment. Then the instructor told us that everyone in the world has a book in them and wants to get it out and we are not to say that ever again in her class because it is cliche and impotent. So I have never since claimed to have a book in me but these days I don't know how else to say it. sometimes cliches come in handy. Sometimes you want everyone to understand what you mean with one worn phrase.

The problem is, I don't know what kind of book I want to write. My kids give me enough material to write an encyclopedia set on parenting and there is a marked absence of parenting books written by people how are actually in the process of raising children. Most parenting books (I swear I have read close to all of them) come from wise grandparents who remember things pretty rosy. I'm waiting for a chapter on what to do when your seven year old still hollers for you to wipe his butt each and every time he has a bowel movement and then how to respond when he thanks me profusely and tells me that I am the "Queen of butt wiping" and that "no one else can get a butt as clean as you, mom." I haven't read a chapter on what to do when your kid cashes out his lunch card and pays other kids to play with him at recess or accepts money from other kids to play with them. My mom is a doctor and literally an expert in the field of early childhood social development so I could team up with her and make a fabulous parenting book.

I'm also tempted to write a marriage book. The same phenomenon applies to this genre of self help book currently available. Its all old married couples congratulating themselves for being so tolerant and staying married. Most of them are totally useless unless both members are reading and applying the material. Perhaps my marriage book will be interlaced with chapters about how to field strip an M16 rifle and tips for surviving urban combat scenarios. I recently learned that porcupines mate for life and If you ever see porcupine roadkill, you will always find a bewildered mate not to far off. It made me sad but I instantly related to these poor quilled animals. It takes so long for them to learn where every little barb is and they have to be in a very comfortable state to even touch each other, let alone mate. They figure out one another's timing and take turns revealing dangers that may hurt the one they love if not approached just right. By the time they have gotten acquainted enough to get it on, they have invested so much time and energy with each other that of course they will stay together until the day they die. This thought came to mind when I was letting John tweeze stray chin hairs from my neck that I couldn't see in the mirror but was paranoid of leaving behind. Or when John belches and I can tell by the smell if he has taken his medicine. You may call it gross, but I call it investment. I can't even imagine starting over with a different husband and going through the process of educating one another of all of our smells and deadly quills and turn ons and stubborn follicles. I want to read a marriage book about getting through the real life power struggles and fear of getting hit by a Volvo or being impaled by passive aggressive quills.

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Kramer Boys

Kramer Boys