January 12, 2015

Top shelf

Last week, I decided to clean my home office, tossing out papers and filing important stuff away in a desperate attempt get the top of my desk clear for the start of the new semester. This ambitious project was hampered by the fact that I could barely get to my desk because so many books were piled on the floor. I really don’t know where all those books came from: the piles grow like stalagmites in a dark cave. But the piles were so high they’d begun to topple over, and I realized that the time had come. I needed to organize my bookshelves and weed out the ones I no longer used.

Pulling books down, sorting them into piles, stopping to read pages — it was all great fun. Soon the living room floor was piled with so many books it looked like I was opening a store. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any to part with. When it comes to books, I'm the worst sort of pack rat. I keep them even after I lose the covers.

Then I stumbled onto some parenting books I'd bought at a feminist bookstore. I carried them into the living room and looked across at With-a-Why and Boy-in-Black, who were sitting on the couch with their laptops, immersed in discussion about the computer strategy game Starcraft.

Me: Am I done raising kids?
Boy-in-Black: What?
Me: I mean, you kids turned out great. I guess I don’t need these parenting books any more.
Boy-in-Black: What was your build order?
Me: (in surprise) You talking to me?
Boy-in-Black (grinning): Yeah.
Me: (looking at the titles of the books) Well, I wanted my sons to be feminists.
Boy-in-Black: Anyone who says they aren’t a feminist is an asshole. Unless maybe they don’t know what the word means. Like they think it means hating men or something. But if you get that it means that everyone should have equal rights and opportunities, well, who would ever say they weren’t?

He turned back to his little brother, and they resumed talking about Starcraft. I swept the parenting books into a bag: my work was done.


beemama said...

Mission accomplished. I'm past the books stage too, but my young men are still learning. Hopefully if it ever comes up, it's as clear to them as it is to Boy-in-Black <3

nimiecat said...

Good job, Mom! Funny, my husband of 10 years recently asked me if I was a feminist. I was kind of surprised that he didn't already know.

Magpie said...


Michelle said...

I've been engaged in the same project - slowly excavating my desk and taking far too few books into the college for the "free table." and talking to sons home for a few precious days.

Anonymous said...

Hi Magpie! I agree -- awesome.

BrightenedBoy said...

The way you've spoken about your children over the years has always been tender and touching, and it's no surprise whatsoever that your sons and daughter have grown up into such fine individuals.

delagar said...

Yay you!

Julie said...

I have been away from your blog for too long. This is wonderful. I miss you and love your family. Of course you are finished! Job WELL DONE!

xoxo Julie