Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Ugh. The give and take of it all.

I have two lovely daughters.
One of whom is a teen.
I love her.
She is a delight.
Until she is not.
Did I mention she is a teen?

I love her all the time, but to be honest, I find myself pondering a particular children's book a lot lately.

You know the one.
Is it a beautiful story of selfless love?
Nope.  I'm going with describing it as a cautionary tale about giving and balance and what love actually means.
Yes, I'm talking about The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein.  A classic.  A simple-at-first-glance-but-man-is-it-ever-deep book.  A book-for-children-but-really-for-adults-too book.

My love for my daughter is as steady and strong as any deep-rooted tree.
My daughter is as asking and taking as are most teens.
Not only is she beginning to have her own social existence beyond the family stuff, but she is too young to have a real job so I foot the bill. Yes, she helps around the house-- but let's face it, her allowance is still my money.

For anyone who has ever raised teens, you know these can be tricky and treacherous waters to navigate, right?

I will state it here, I refuse to be the giving tree.
I don't want to teach her by example that love means you give until you are a wornout nub of nothingness, and that in fact, existing that way makes you feel...happy.
Not happening.
I've experienced my fair share of relationships that were too one-sided.
They never made me feel happy.
They left me feeling sad and used.

I'm a giver by nature.
But I will not believe it is better to give everything and receive nothing.
Love---real, true, love--is a give and take from both parties.

Going for balance.
In all things.

Remind me of this as I continue to navigate the teen years, okay?

Monday, October 24, 2016

For my 9th Graders this week


First, I'll read excerpts from a few books, and then...

we'll watch some creepy book trailers:

Alice in Zombieland

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children 

Dorothy Must Die

Dragons in the Stacks--October

This is our NHS Library's October newsletter. Please take a look!

Monday, October 10, 2016

It's Monday. What are YOU reading?

I just finished listening to Kate Morton's The Secret Keeper on audible.

Y'all.  This book.
I absolutely loved the duel settings of modern day and WWII, as Laurel attempts to solve the mysteries of her mother's past. Gorgeous.  It was a lovely LONG listen--so not for a quick road trip, but certainly worth the investment of time

My high school faculty book club is reading A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman.  First, his name is pronounced ooh-vuh, which through me for a quick minute (yes, I'm listening to this one, too, and SO grateful because otherwise, I would still be calling this man by the wrong name) but I am really enjoying this book.  Ove is a curmudgeon of the first order.  Everything has a place and should by god be there.  While most folks would overlook him as a bitter old grump, the new young family next door finds a way to connect and bring out the best in him.  I have laughed right out loud at this one, and have also found it to be a lovely, poignant story.

You know you have a winner when your high school students start passing around the picture book in the before-school crowd.  I heard the "you've gotta read this one right now" whispered from person to person as it made the rounds.  #allthefeels

What are YOU reading?

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Winning at F-A-I-L

I have the most amazing job in the universe.
And yesterday was just awful.
This does not make me love my job any less. Saying this does not make me a negative person.
It's just the real honest-to-gosh truth of my day.
Today will be better.

I believe in putting positivity out into the world.
I also believe in being real.  These are NOT mutually exclusive things.
I think it is especially important in this age of Instagram moments and Pinterest and look-at-how-awesome-this-is social media that we also remember to share our first attempt at learning moments.
Yeah, that spells F-A-I-L.

The problem is not with failing and acknowledging our fail----this is not a negative, folks.
The problem would be STAYING in that place.

Everything in the world (just about) that could go south yesterday, did indeed go south.
I want to share that with you for two reasons. One, I sorta need to vent/examine/feel my feelings so I can move forward and begin to see the humor in the sheer craptastic-ness of it, and two, I need you to know that I'm not winning all the time, and that is OKAY.

No one is winning all the time.
NO one is winning all the time.

Winning all the time doesn't happen.  It isn't real.  It is a facade.
However, when all everyone does is acknowledge only our winning moments it can SEEM like everyone else is winning all the time.  Except you.

Don't believe it, folks.
It isn't true.  That isn't how life works.
Not one of us can do everything in superhero mode all the time.

And that is okay.
And you are okay.
And I am okay.
And WE are okay.

It isn't negative to say,
         look--I'm struggling.
         hey, this didn't go so great.
         I tried, but I didn't love the way it went down.
It is real. 
Fail Forward.

That is one of the most positive things you can do.
I promise.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Dragons in the Stacks newsletter

Here's our new library newsletter!  This one will be digital, heavy on pics & vids and light on paragraphs.  I'd love it if you'd take a look!

Be sure to follow the link to see the freshman orientation video.  The kids had a great time working on teams to complete their scavenger hunt to become more acquainted with our library.

Monday, August 29, 2016

It's Monday, what are YOU reading?

It has been a wonderful, fast & furious entry into the new school year.  I'm finally collected enough to start writing again (or doing anything other than merely surviving the day!) and just in time for this week's What are you Reading post!

I just finished listening to The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton. I was completely swept up in the gorgeously written historical fiction/mystery/magical fairy tale of a story.  Utterly delicious. Perfect for filling these weeks of rain we've had in east Texas lately.  I loved it so much that I've downloaded another Kate Morton book, The Secret Keeper.  I'll keep you posted on that one.

I now belong to 2 book clubs (for grown folks, that is) and Anne Tyler's Vinegar Girl was the selection for the first meeting of my newest one.  I am an Anne Tyler fan---her ability to make characters come to life is just beautiful, and she is a master at showcasing the ordinary life in a way that shines a light on its specialness. Vinegar Girl is interesting in that it is a part of the new Hogarth Press which has modern authors creating modern retellings of Shakespeare's work.  Vinegar Girl is Tyler's twist on The Taming of the Shrew.

The book club had mixed reviews on this one, but I liked it.  Not loved it---but definitely liked it.  I suppose my reasons are a bit shrewish, too---if shrewish means being a bit cantankerous rather than the screaming banshee that initially comes to mind.

I like that it is a love story with two brilliant socially awkward people.  I like that our main character, Kate, is completely herself (wouldn't it be utterly delicious to live life in such a way that you were always your most real self?) I liked its quirkiness and its imperfect characters.  And also, I feel like I should reread the original just to compare the two.

I hope the beginning of the school year is treating you well and make sure you are making time to read!