As I type this, I am considering what books to take along with me for a weekend journey. I am trying really, really hard to be reasonable. I always overpack when it comes to books. So far I have only my Bible, Fire Star by D’Lacey (I don’t enjoy it that much, but I am a compulsive finisher of books), Children of a Greater God by Terry Glaspey, Lord I want to Know You, by Kay Arthur, The Cricket in Times Square and Swiss Family Robinson on CD to listen to in the van, and I’m deciding whether to continue reading Virgil or Cicero (I am SO behind on my worthwhile reading challenge). And a magnifying glass, because my eyes are not what they once were. I keep slapping my hands when they roam over another bookshelf.
Plus, of course, The Three Little Kittens, by Paul Galdone and The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter, as they are Blynken’s favorite picture books just now. And, um, another bag of picture books the FYG put together.
Which makes this seem like a good time for a repost from 2005:
We were packing for our trip to D.C. when a friend called. I was glad for her call as it temporarily distracted the Progeny from making fun of me for packing too much. As I spoke to my friend on the phone I directed some of the Offspring to continue packing. They renewed their mocking. At one point the Head Girl thought I was telling her to put a stack away when I wanted her to put the stack in the tote with the other stacks.
“More?!” she squealed in disbelief, “You want to put more of this stuff in the tote? Mother, we do not need it all. This is too much.”
My friend overhead her, and asked me how long we were to be gone. “Eight days,” I said.
She was on my side- “Well, then, of course you need a lot of clothes. There are nine of you after all. Tell her that naturally you need plenty of changes of clothes.”
“Well, no,” I explained sheepishly. “We’re only packing three changes of clothes each, and those are already finished and in the van. It’s the books. I’ve got a huge plastic tote to fit between the two front seats, and I’ve filled it with books, some tapes to listen to, and a few things to do. But mostly books.”
Silence. Then my friend asked me carefully, “But… don’t the friends you are staying with own any books? Aren’t they homeschoolers?”
As a matter of fact, they are homeschoolers, and they do have plenty of books. We read some of them while we were there. But I wanted our books, too. Some of them are about D.C. or things we’d see there. Some of them are reference materials for a large project I’m working on. Some of them are like family members (Equuschick mentions having read Anne of Green Gables nine times. I believe this is more times than she has spoken to one of her uncles).
I’m not sure my friend here really quite saw the force of my argument.