The other night, I loved a book because it made me feel like a better mom.
Caroline and Katherine had been fighting for days. The two go in phases of loving and hating each other in equal measure. As an only child, I am terribly confused by the whole sibling rivalry thing. I struggle to understand it, empathize with it and referee it.
And then I read Beezus and Ramona to Katherine.
“Mother, what am I going to do?” Beezus demanded. “It’s checked out on my card and I’m responsible. They won’t let me take any more books out of the library, and I won’t have anything to read, and it will all be Ramona’s fault. She’ always spoiling my fun and it isn’t fair!” Beezus didn’t know what she would do without her library card. She couldn’t get along without library books. She just couldn’t, that was all.
“I do not spoil your fun,” stormed Ramona. “You have all the fun. I can’t read and it isn’t fair.” Ramona’s words ended in a howl as she buried her face in her mother’s skirt.
This whole conversation could very easily have happened at our house. It seems that even my favorite fictional characters struggle with what it means to be the oldest and the youngest in the family. It seems that things aren’t fair in their world either.
As I took a deep breath, I realized that Mrs. Quimby couldn’t figure it all out either. Suddenly, it seemed like things might be ok after all…