Paging Marie Kondo.
We're in the midst of a big overhaul in our house.
I haven't watched Tidying Up, but the whole "Spark Joy" thing resonates.
Still. This is what happens when Lit majors marry. And reproduce.
And these are just the books from the kids’ shelves!
(I won't show you a picture of the grown-ups' shelves right now...but I'll tell you this, I could never narrow it down to 30, I mean, I have three copies of "East of Eden," and they all spark joy, so...Timshel*)
There’s Harold and his Purple Crayon -- our little bald baby son looked just like him in his jammies.
There’s the stack of Sandra Boynton board books, “Pajama Time” and “But Not the Hippopotamus,” and our favorite one, on top, “The Going to Bed Book” -- we all memorized it, and recited it together every night, like a ritual, a prayer for sleep, an incantation in a lilting lullaby -- about a little ark full of friendly animals who, before bed, make their way to the ship’s upper deck -- “They all go up to exercise” -- and workout in the moonlight. We’d look at the picture and point out the ones who were doing yoga.
There’s the classic, “Peter Rabbit,” which honestly, they were never that into.
But there’s also “Snuggle Bunnies” -- not a classic, but it does have a handle so you can carry it like a little suitcase! We read it every night for years because it was simple and comforting and more soporific than Peter’s lettuces.
“Goodnight Moon” and “Goodnight Gorilla.”
There’s a boxed set of Curious George, whose misadventures tickle us to this day.
There are the bears: Corduroy. Paddington. Little Bear. And Bear, who Stays up for Christmas.
There’s “Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich” -- that our friend brought to Hutch, sick and wilted in the hospital one scary night.
There’s Barack Obama’s book for his daughters, “Of Thee I Sing,” and the memory of celebrating his inauguration with a 2- and 4-year old. There’s Peter Spier’s “People.” Because people.
There’s Babar doing yoga.
And the fantastic YA novels, like “Powerless” that our dear friend Matthew Cody wrote.
There’s Ramona Quimby, and Laura Ingalls, Junie B. Jones, and other smart sassy girls.
There are illustrated books of poetry by Shel Silverstein, Judith Viorst, Robert Frost.
And many 30s more.
Day before yesterday, the kids officially moved into separate bedrooms, having spent hardly a night apart in a dozen years.
They were excited, but also a little lonely and sad.
So my husband pulled down “Snuggle Bunnies” one more time, before emptying the shelves for a mega-purge, and read it to each of them, teen and tween, in their own new rooms.
We have a ways to go in the weeding out and paring down and Tidying Up, but all sorts of little partings are coming now at alarming speed.
This morning, after the kids left for school, I stood in the old nursery doorway for a minute, a bit overwhelmed, and looked at all the books, piled there. The startling amount of horizontal space they take up.
A pair of hand-carved, wooden, bunny shaped bookends with a hidden concrete core, that propped up volumes for years, now sit pertly atop the stacks, like little guards, long ears at attention.
Thank you, I said to them, per Kondo, because I doubt they’ll be sticking around.
They stared back at me with wide eyes, as if noticing the cement weight of their hearts for the first time, and wondering what the next chapter holds.
*Timshel is a literary reference. If you don't know what it means, stop what you're doing and start reading John Steinbeck's "East of Eden" right now.
#tidyingup #booklover #yoga #yogaandbooks #kidlit #mariekondo #mamaskara #everydaytranscendence @sandra_boynton @matthewjcody