One Little Book

Mom!  I brought home a book for you from the library today. You are going to LOOOOOOve it!  

When your six-year-old daughter says something like this to you, many thoughts go through my mind.  Things like, “Holy shit, this book is going to have three hundred pages and no pictures and she is going to want to read it in its entirety this weekend”, or “NOT ANOTHER DAMN BARBIE BOOK!”.  Just judging by her uncontrollable giggles, I did not have a good feeling about the book that I was going to be forced to read over and over and over again all. weekend. long.  I love reading to my kids.  I do not enjoy some of their choices.  Unsupervised book selection has a tendency to not go well for my kids, so you can imagine how nervous I become when they start using their funny voices telling me how much I am going to LOOOOOve this book.  Never in a million years did I expect her to pull this out of her backpack:


Brainwashing or excellent taste?

At first I couldn’t help but giggle, but as I listened to her talk my heart melted into her filthy, germ infested, beautiful little hands.   “I was looking for a different book, but saw this one and just knew you would like it so I got it so we could read it together”.   I don’t know if it is because of the raging PMS, or the fact that I have been trapped in the house for four days with a sick two-year old, but this one, selfish little act caused my eyes to overflow just a bit.  I tried to tell myself that it is just a book.  How in the hell can one little library book turn me into mush?  Then I realized that it wasn’t the book that did it to me, it was the selfless act of my six-year-old that helped me forget about the armageddon about to break out in my uterus.

As parents, we often dream of what kind of adults our children will grow up to be.  Will they be kind?  Will they be thoughtful?  Will they be total assholes?  While we always hope that the latter doesn’t occur, we all know that these days it seems to happen more often than it should.  Shall we all take a moment and just imagine what a world this would be without them?  Ahhhhhh, how delightful and amazing.  Since we all know that an asshole free world will never exist, maybe it is time to  concentrate on where we are going astray as parents and what we can do to change it.

This current generation we are raising scares the living crap out of me and we are left to point the finger at ourselves.   Why are we as parents are more concerned about becoming their friends and by what kind of parent we appear to be in a public setting instead of actually being their parents?  I can admit that I am just as guilty as the next person.  While I may not be so concerned about being their friend, I already have plenty of friends,  I know I am more concerned with public appearances than I should be.    Maybe it is the desire to be accepted by others, maybe it is the desire look like we know what we are doing, maybe it is some deeper issue that I have locked away deep down in my emotional vault.  What I do know is that I am mortified of the thought of my kids becoming one of those assholes and if I succeed in nothing else in life, as long as I prevent that from happening, I will die an old, extremely happy, woman.

This one little book left me asking myself if I am the kind of parent that my own parents hoped I would be.  What a mind-blowing thought.  One that I am hoping I know the answer to.  Now as parents ourselves, we often joke with each other that we will never say and do the things that our parents did.  You know what  I mean, the “well shit, I just sounded like my mother”  moments, but when you really think about it and take a good long look in the mirror, we seem to have turned out pretty good so are those oddities that we tried to fight for so long really that bad?  I suppose it is time to accept the fact that our parents really did know what they were talking about all those years.    Damn, that was really hard to type.

What I do know is that little miss Mouse gave me hope last night.  Hope that Farmer Bob and I are on the right path.  Hope that we are raising the kinds of kids that we can be proud of.  Hope that kindness and love can overtake the assholes and the hate.  Hope that our kids will grow up to the be the kind of parents that we hope they can be.  This journey that we are on as mothers, as fathers, as parents, is without a doubt the most difficult thing we have ever done.  Harder than college algebra or writing that thesis.  Harder than perfecting that recipe or choosing a paint color for the living room.  Harder because there isn’t a textbook.  There isn’t a recipe.  We can’t pick out the “perfect” child from a paint chip.  They are put into our lives for us to nurture and develop into the kind adults that we can be proud of.  Maybe if we all agreed to be the kind of parents that we hope our own kids will be,  we can have a little bit more hope for our future.  In the meantime, sit down and enjoy a book with them and don’t be afraid to look at the pictures.





  1. Awww, how sweet! I love when my boys do something like that. It’s usually because they are starved for my attention, but still very sweet.

  2. That is just crazily sweet. That’s one saving grace of parenthood – that they can drive us insane 98% of the time, but all it takes is a moment of honest sweetness to set it all right.

  3. Made me cry!! I’ve always, always had a deep fear of not raising “good” kids. I see more and more each day through little, seemingly insignificant acts by my children that they ARE good kids and I can only hope and pray that they’ll be good adults, too. No parent is perfect but I think you’re doing a damn good job! What a sweet daughter you have!

  4. What a sweet girl! This made me think of when my cousin was young and she’d always choose strawberry ice cream, since her mom didn’t like it and she’d get to eat the whole container. My aunt used to tear up when she talked about it. Kids are selfish, and it can be hard work to train them to be anything else. Seems like it’s working at your house.

    Makes me curious what kind of books my boy will start bringing home next year.

  5. Just for the record, I call “brainwashing” ;)
    But seriously, you’re right on–some of the next generation are scary (as are their parents–no surprise there–apples, trees, etc.) This sh*t is WORK–that’s why it’s hard and that’s why the asshats have little asshats, because they don’t want to put in the effort. Ugh! Sucky that not only do we have to raise our kids to be good people, at the same time we have to teach them how to deal with the douchebags of the world!
    At any rate, sounds like you’re doing it right. Good on you!

  6. Beautiful page ,,,,You know I just love your stuff and Johnny Depp xoxoxmm

  7. I don’t think I’m PMsing right now, but I teared right up too. What a lovely gift from her to you–and really, from yourself to yourself. Kids give us proof every once in a while that we are getting the type of kids we’re raising… and this is just such a lovely instances of that.

  8. Amen!! Really!

  9. You bet you’re on the right path, parenting pro! What a sweet thing for your little one to do.

    I worry all the time that I’m “failing” this parenting thing. I figure we’ll just do our best and put a little money aside for their future therapy bills.

    And she has GREAT taste in pirates. Just sayin’.

  10. How sweet of your little girl! She must love you really, really much :)
    I agree with this statement in the box – because yeah, I am also terrified sometimes! I may not have been pregnant with my little ones (after some family drama I started taking care of my niece&nephew) and I am “just” an auntie – but I serve as a parent now. It freaks me out almost every day but then something lovely happens and I am no longer nervous I am making each single mistake a parent can make. Its those moments that make you feel grateful for another mouths to feed :)

  11. It’s the little things that mean the world. Especially when you’re suffering from PMS, cabin fever, and momdrome (the kind of crazy only moms get)! Great story :)

  12. This was wonderful! We worry because we try and trying is the important part. I think it’s people who don’t worry about their kids who mess them up… :) At least, that’s what I tell myself when I’m worrying…..

  13. What a great story! And how adorable!! Always breaks me down when my daughter does those little selfless things that melt my otherwise “stone cold” heart. I never thought in my life that one little being could have so much power over me. Makes the frustration of parenting all the more worth it for us when they notice and give with the best and usually cutest intentions.

  14. Who Woulda Thought? says:

    It always make me turn into a wuss of a Dad when one of the Minions does something like that. I makes you think you’re doing something right.

  15. Great article and something each of us parent’s should/do consider! A pat on the back to your daughter for thinking of you first and for being an uplifting beam of light just when you needed it.


  1. […] Thursday night I was inspired by Mouse.  My sweet, quiet, kind, six-year-old Mouse.  I couldn’t help but write this after her kind gesture gave me hope that Farmer Bob and I are actually succeeding at this parenting gig.  Read what she did for me with just One Little Book. […]

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