We are reaching the time in summer when I'm realizing that all of the projects, all of the cleaning and organizational stuff that I intended to do is probably not going to happen. Some people might approach this realization with renewed effort, and actually accomplish a few more things.
That is not, however, my approach. Instead, I find a good book and a quiet corner and read. In the past couple of days, I have read a couple of great novels:
1) WAITING FOR NORMAL
When this book opens, Addie, a twelve-year-old girl, and her mother, Mommers, are moving into a trailer located under an overpass in Schenectady, New York. Addie's mother and stepfather have recently split, and her stepdad, Dwight, has been awarded custody of two younger sisters. Addie, however, must live with her mother, who is more than a little unbalanced, and probably even bipolar.
Addie is an amazing kid. Despite the struggles with her mom, who is regularly away from the trailer, and then a learning disability, she somehow manages to craft a pretty workable life for herself. She plays the flute, cares for her pet hamster, and becomes friends with the people who manage the mini-mart next door. Throughout the book, Addie's relationship with her stepfather, Dwight, is a stabilizing force in her life.
Every year, I meet one or two Addie's-- kids who are basically having to raise themselves, with the support of a few caring adults. I'm glad to add WAITING FOR NORMAL to my list of books to give to those kids. Somehow, knowing that they are not alone, and that other people, even fictional characters in books, make it through rough situations, seems to help.
This book made me cry more than once…