In January, Amanda and I finally nailed down a bedtime routine for the baby. The nightly ritual – bath, book, bed – has been wonderful for us, and for him, and has allowed us time to actually hang out with each other at night, which usually means we wait until he’s asleep and then go downstairs and eat ice cream, nudging the pint back and forth to each other.
But what this ritual has revealed is that, sadly, because I’m the boob mama, I’m not the book mama. Because I nurse him to sleep, if I sit down to read him his bedtime book, he doesn’t want it. He wants milk, he wants it now, this is not optional, put the book down. For Amanda, he will sweetly sit in her lap and enjoy the story time. For me, he shuts it down right away by attempting to dive down my shirt.
But part of the beauty of his bedtime routine is that I have been able to carve out time to read my own books. And I was off to a good start this month with five books under my belt. Here’s the run-down.
My Reading Month: January 2017
My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem: This book both stressed me out (politically) and buoyed my spirits (culturally). I had never read anything by Gloria Steinem before, and I marveled at how she could be so wise, so open, so gentle and compassionate, while also urging us to pay attention, to focus on change, and community, and doing our best. Her stories are fascinating – what a life of work!
My Drunk Kitchen: A Guide to Eating, Drinking, and Going with Your Gut by Hannah Hart: I was so excited, years ago, when Hannah Hart’s quirky cookbook came out, but somehow, in the shuffle, I never got around to reading it. If you enjoyed My Drunk Kitchen, it’s a fun one to check out (and a super quick read). Props to the girl for making nachos with Saltines.
Lumberjanes, Vol. 4: Out of Time by Shannon Watters: see below
Lumberjanes, Vol. 5: Band Together by Shannon Watters: Lumberjanes! Lumberjanes! Lumberjanes! Y’all know I love my comics about the Lumberjanes Camp for Hardcore Lady-Types! Truth be told, I was beginning to wonder if maybe the plot was winding down, but by the end of Volume 5, there’s a little line thrown out to us – a new aspect of the story – that I can’t wait to see fleshed out in Volume 6 (but now I have to wait until April, boo).
Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton: If I had to choose a favorite book this month, Love Warrior would be it. This book was giving me life last week when I read it. Glennon Doyle Melton just hit all the right notes for me right now, and she did it with such honesty and openness and love. I really had half a mind to go back and read the book all over again once I finished it. The story of her journey to sobriety, her marriage to her husband, her journey to find herself as a woman, a writer, a mother, a wife, and her struggle to keep things together – whatever that may mean – in the face of her husband’s infidelity… this book has so much, it says so much, and I’m so glad I read it.
A few lines from Love Warrior that I particularly loved:
- “We begin to understand that to coparent is to one day look up and notice that you are on a roller coaster with another human being. You are in the same car, strapped down side by side and you can never, ever get off. There will never be another moment in your lives when your hearts don’t rise and fall together, when your minds don’t race and panic together, when your stomachs don’t churn in tandem, when you stop seeing huge hills emerge in the distance and simultaneously grab the side of the car and hold on tight. No one except for the one strapped down beside you will ever understand the particular thrills and terrors of your ride. “
- “Just do the next right thing one thing at a time: That’ll take you all the way home.”
- “Light disappears sometimes, but it always comes back.”
- “Grief is love’s souvenir. It’s our proof that we once loved.”
I could go on and on, but instead, I’ll just heartily recommend reading this wonderful book.