Sunday, July 27, 2008

Barefoot at Last!

There's something magical about this moment: June comes running over to me (she never walks anywhere if she can help it) with a book in hand and says, "Mommy, read a book! Couch! Sit down!" Fortunately, I don't need to be dosed with this moment, I get the real thing, in technicolor, all day long. I can't define being a stay-at-home mom as a job for one very important reason: I am not putting out, I'm taking in. This life-work fuels me in a way I never expected.

Here's a great section from David Guterson in "Family Matters: Why Homeschooling Makes Sense":

"In fact, 'I can't wait for school to start again because the kids have been driving me crazy all summer!' is a common complaint in this country. We have even made advertisements out of it: the harried mother who at last gets them out the door with their lunches, books, and rubber rain slickers, then settles into her exotic coffee or a bubble bath and romance novel. What is she doing but feeding herself with food she does not get from her children--food that cannot stick to her bones any more than bath water does? If things go far enough she will gradually learn to treat herself as the neediest child in the house, buying herself toys and then playing with them in various corners of the known universe (men are more prone to this than women): the windsurfing here, parasailing there, snorkeling in the tropics while the children attend summer camp, relaxed and at peace while the children are not around, fretful and irritated when they return. She has not learned how to take sustenance from them, is riven by doubts about herself as a mother, cannot understand why she prefers their absence, feels relief when they head for the school bus. The seven-hour respite school provides is in reality a hole she cannot climb from."

Needless to say, one of my many goals as a human being is to foster a deeper connection with my daughter. I want to be available when the crazy-haired junior goddess of the universe comes to me with book in hand. And I want her to have good books to choose from. This is a big reason why Matthew and I have embarked on our latest obsession (ok- it's my obsession, he just plays along). We are now independent booksellers/stallholders of Barefoot Books, a children's publishing company based out of Cambridge, MA and Bath, England. I'll let the video speak about why Barefoot is more than just a home business for us. In the meantime, visit our website, check out our new business blog: Barefoot Stories and cheer us on as we have some fun, together!

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