Hidden Away | From Left to Write Book Club: The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova


I read The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova in December, racing through it despite the busyness of the month because the story pulled me into its world.

Tonight I find myself up against the post deadline for From Left to Write (71 minutes and counting!*); I'm tired, sitting in a posture-busting slump on the little couch in our family room listening to the Weather Channel meteorologists gleefully describe the incoming snow bomb headed right at the Northeast.

We had our snow here (and it is still falling as I type this) today; our little family unit was home all day as the flakes swirled and fell and coated everything bright white and sparkling again.  With my usual driving and errands and meetings cancelled for the whole day, theoretically I should have had this post written hours ago.

Theoretically.

Snow days remind me of summer days  - minus all the fun of swimming and strawberry picking and wearing only one layer of clothing.  With the kids swarming and playing and snacking and arguing all day, I find it hard to get much of anything that requires higher thought done during those summer days and on our snow days as well.

Still, by the end of the day after chowing on dinner, they begin to wind down as sleep nears.  Usually I can grab that time for myself to get something tackled (even if that something is just a reading through a chunk of a good book like the one above).  Tonight, however, I spent several (not a couple, not a few, but several - like four several) hours working on our troop's Girl Scout cookie sale paperwork.

Fun.

Shuffling papers and creating a timeline of critical cookie deadlines, I thought about all that we moms take on for our kids.  All that we give.  All that we sacrifice. 

All that we do.

Yes, I know - it's what we're supposed to do as mothers and parents; how else could we shepherd those tiny babies up to functioning people without giving of ourselves?  Without giving up a little - or a lot?

But knowing that we must sacrifice and being at peace with our sacrifices are two very different things.

Especially when what we give up, what we put aside and instead hang on the wall of a hidden room in our heart, are our own dreams and aspirations.

When I feel low as I contemplate the hours gone by, gone forever, I give myself pep talks. 

It won't always be this way.  They're getting so big.  Little Tom will be in kindergarten this fall.  You'll miss these moments when they're teenagers.  You took the hard path, the less-traveled road. 

Your dreams will rise again.

But sometimes -

Sometimes?

I wonder.

+++++++++++++++

The publisher provided me with a copy of The Swan Thieves to read and review (and fall in love with the writing - bonus!).  The wandering, posture-impeded, nagged-by-paper-cut thoughts are mine alone.  See the full list of response posts to this fine book at From Left to Write.

*And 40 minutes to spare.