Sunday, July 15, 2012


Dear Children:

Today I shall read a book. All day. Go ahead and laugh. You don't believe I will or can do it, but my goal is to do what my friends do - read a book in a day.

Let this serve as notice. This will be me doing something for me. All that is required of you is to entertain yourselves and leave me alone. Forbidden activities include, but are not limited to:  Finding me wherever I may be and staring at me. Screaming matches outside my closed door. Text messages and/or phone calls.

There are a limited number of reasons for which you may approach me. They are:

1. Fire that you cannot put out on your own.
2. Arterial blood.
3. Someone ringing the doorbell while holding an enlarged check with lots of zeros at the end. 

Note:  You should involve me only if your father is unavailable. Unavailable is defined as: 1) Away from the house; 2) Comatose; 3) The person gushing arterial blood or; 4) What is on fire.

If this warning is not enough, let me be clear. I don't want to hear from you. At all. I know that our views on what constitutes a legitimate need differ so here is a short list of what I do not consider worthy of my attention.

Hunger. Boredom. Exasperation with another sibling. Exasperation with your father. Exasperation with me.  Flea bites. Hungry cats. Lack of clean laundry. Lack of  "food" (read: junk food). The weather. The parsimonious thermostat setting The fact that summer is coming to a swift end and we still haven't done anything fun. The lack of money.

Take a good look at that list. You are all old enough to handle these issues. Telling me about them instead of simply dealing with them in a positive manner reminds me that I've been a failure as a mother and that is not conducive to happy reading. I will become angry at myself which will transform into angry at you which will manifest as slammed doors and shouting of things a mother should never say to a child.

Let's prevent that because it always ends in tears and I look like hell after I've cried.

If you don't think you can comply with my request, I recommend you leave the house. And no, I won't give you a ride anywhere. Look down. See those projections at the end of your legs? They're feet. Use them.

And don't forget to text your father to let him know where you've gone.



  1. Amen.

    As I like to tell my child, "You need to find a place to be and BE THERE!"

    Happy Reading, my dear. [I'm joining you shortly.]

  2. I hope you do not read this comment today, unless reading love for you on your blog brings you pleasure. If that is the case, read away!

    This is a wonderful post. Even as a single woman with no kids, I could easily adapt this as "Dear World, Leave me the Hell alone today!" I don't have that kind of courage. I admire that you took this brave step to take care of you.

    May your day be filled with sunshine, rainbows, self-love (whatever kind you wish), happiness, and children-free. I hope your book(s) bring you immense joy and that at the end of the day, you emerge with your buckets full so you can be better for everyone, especially you.

  3. Heh. What Little Merry Sunshine said. ;-)

  4. We have the same "To Do" list today - and I'm not going to worry that my 21-year-old "child" who is out on a 17-mile bike ride might get struck by lightning in this sudden storm that's popped up. Much.

  5. haha good luck with that...and enjoy reading....and hope they stay clear and give you some time...smiles.

  6. I hiked up the mountain, dug up a little mountain laurel, and planted it in the front "lawn".

    My feet are sore and tired and I caught a tick running up my leg, but I feel good now.

  7. This letter made my Sunday, made my whole weekend. I'm about to travel with my adult children and, sadly, will need to tell them much of these same things.

    Love this!!!! This is our brilliant Lisa in all of her resplendent glory. Well done!

    P.S. You do know we'll need to the follow up to find out how this went.

  8. Ah, you're just locking yourself away with a mime lover. Got it.

  9. This is an amazing idea --- though now I'm wondering who exactly I've been playing WWF with all day . . . ;)

  10. i hope your letter worked.

    one of my favorite tactics is to give my 8 yr. old daughter a list of chores she and her little brother must complete before they can ask for food, tv, toys, etc. the list is a trick-list--i know she won't be able to get through all of it without stopping to snack, play barbies, watch good luck charlie. which, really, are all fine with me. the fact that she's avoiding the list keeps her from asking me for snacks, someone to play barbies with, or help her find a good luck charlie episode.

    of course, nearly every time i try to trap myself away from the rest of my housemates to read i fall asleep. like, within two minutes. i'm out and two hours later, i wake from my stupor without a single page read.

  11. My son tried to get me to pour him a glass of milk this morning. He's ten. The child has lost his mind, which I explained to him in monosyllabic words, very slowly.

  12. Did it work? How was the book?

    We've moved into an 850 sq ft apartment. There is no escaping. The husband has taken them all off to the grandparents' farm for the day so I can get some work done. And... here I am!

  13. You talk to your kids? I've found grunting and pointing works fine, but hey, must be a southern thing. Weirdos.

  14. It sounds like a perfectly rational plan to me. I hope you thoroughly enjoyed yourself.

  15. You go girl and read to your heart's content :)

  16. I hope you enjoyed a day of reading Lisa!


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