“You will dance again if you stopped dancing.”

"Color frog, Mommy." #365photoproject #day149

There is a letter in Tiny Beautiful Things, in which the writer asks Dear Sugar if she should have a baby (as she has always wanted) even though she is single (as she did not imagine she would be as a parent). In Dear Sugar’s reply, there is this paragraph:

Regardless of what happens with the men, you’ll have a baby. An amazing little being who will blow your mind and expand your heart and make you think things you never thought and remember things you believed you forgot and heal things you imagined would never heal and forgive people you’ve begrudged for too long and understand things you didn’t understand before you fell madly in love with a tiny tyrant who doesn’t give a crap whether you need to pee. You will sing again if you stopped singing. You will dance again if you stopped dancing. You will crawl around on the floor and play chase and tickle and peek-a-boo. You’ll make towers of teetering blocks and snakes and rabbits with clay.

I’ve been thinking about this quote a lot lately (I read the book last year, but it was my book club’s selection last month, so it’s been refreshed in my mind.) This is so true for me. Without even realizing it, as I grew up and became more “responsible”, I had stopped singing and stopped dancing. I had stopped seeing the magic and the wonder and the joy in the every day. Raising a kid is hard work, but seeing the world through new, less jaded eyes, spending time with someone who doesn’t care if you are “good” at dancing, but rather just likes to see you move your body, someone who doesn’t care than you can’t keep a tune, but loves that you know all the words to “Wanted: A Nanny for Two Adorable Children“… that has been a gift.

The picture at the top is what I drew when Frances asked me to “Color frog, Mommy” this past weekend. Turns out that when I turn off the voice that says “You can’t draw, Carrie”, I can make a perfectly recognizable frog.

“You will dance again if you stopped dancing.”

March Round-up

Updated: Because I totally forgot to include one of the books I read last month!

I read 8 9 books in March: 3 Non-fiction and 5 6 Fiction (heavy on the mystery).

Death at Wentwater Court by Carola Dunn

This was a new mystery series for me, focusing on Daisy Dalrymple, an upper-class British young lady, trying to make it on her own as a magazine reporter. When a guest at the Estate she has come to profile turns up dead, Daisy helps the Scotland Yard detective with his investigation. This was light and entertaining and fun – definitely a cozy mystery.

The Woman Behind the New Deal: The Life and Legacy of Frances Perkins, FDR’s Secretary of Labor and His Moral Conscience by Kirstin Downey

Let me just say that Frances Perkins was awesome – and if you don’t know any thing more about her than Baby in Dirty Dancing was named after her, you should read this book. It’s especially relevant in light of the recent passage of health care reform, which was one of the social programs Perkins pushed for (and the only major one she didn’t get).

The Winter Garden Mystery by Carola Dunn

The next in the Daisy Dalrymple series – this follows the same premise. Daisy heads off to profile a Country House for her magazine and finds a dead body. I think I liked this one even better than the first.

When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present by Gail Collins

In the Shadow of Gotham by Stefanie Pintoff

My aunt recommended this mystery, and I’m glad she did, I really thought this book was great. Set in the early 1900s in New York (the city and surrounding area) it focuses on the violent murder of a brilliant female Mathematics scholar. This is Pintoff’s first book and it makes me excited for what she might right next.

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

Diet for a Hot Planet: The Climate Crisis at the End of Your Fork and What You Can Do It by Anna Lappe

44 Scotland Street by Alexander McCall Smith

This novel follows the goings-on of the inhabitants of an Edinburgh apartment building (at 44 Scotland Street). McCall Smith got the idea for the story after a conversation with Armistead Maupin about stories serialized in the newspaper. (Maupin’s Tales of the City was serialized in the San Francisco Chronicle). The conversation inspired McCall Smith to approach The Scotsman with the idea of a serialized story and that’s where this book was originally published. The two books do remind me of each (probably because with serialized stories it’s important to have really good character development) and if you liked Tales of the City, I think you’ll enjoy 44 Scotland Street.

Death of a Cozy Writer by G.M. Malliet

This book was one my neighbor and I settled on for our book club of two (our theme: mysteries and junk food), but it was just meh for me. Luckily we read Shadow of Gotham as well.

And that was my March! What did you read?

March Round-up

Quote of the Moment

I am reading The Country of the Pointed Firs by Sarah Orne Jewett at the moment and I very much liked this quote:

In the life of each of us, I said to myself, there is a place remote and islanded, and given to endless regret or secret happiness; we are each the uncompanioned hermit and recluse of an hour or a day; we understand our fellows of the cell to whatever age of history they may belong.

Quote of the Moment