Sunday, September 8, 2013

More Like How To Get Yourself Arrested

The weather here in Wisconsin has been true to the fall spirit; rainy, drizzly, overcast -- in short, perfect weather for hanging around in book stores.

Yesterday, littlest and I headed out to our local book store to find something funny yet clever, simple yet complex, relevant yet random, to read. We stuck side by side as we ran our fingers along the titled book spines on the shelves, since he's a lot like me, reads with his fingers.

Not finding anything that grabbed us a must have it!, we decided to find some fun writing journals instead. I used to call them diaries, he calls them journals. The aloof must've-been-a-cat once store employee pointed us with one finger to the left side of the store, without even looking up -- also correcting us as to the *diary for her/journals for him* now being called "chronicles."

We were like kids in a candy store with the chronicle cover choices, turquoise, monster faces, tie dye, a Darth Vader patent black.

And way on a top shelf, but not so high up we'd miss them, something I had never seen before. Self help "chronicles." I've bought plenty o' self help books, that's for sure. And I have just as many diary/journal/chronicles hidden away under my bed -- but the combination of both together made it impossible for me to resist pulling a simple flower covered one down.

"Oh, look, Auggie. It's a journal and it's full of ideas on how to be better. It's called A Deed a Day, with pages for you to write about how you did it."

"Better at what. Let me see." My youngest examines the inside and outside and says, "Better at what? It doesn't tell you."

"Better at being alive. Like a better person; kinder and not grumpy. Or maybe learning something new or trying to be brave. You 2.0," I explain while thumbing through the pages.

"Look, like this one," I say and begin reading out loud, "Bake some cookies for a new friend. You don't know them yet, but you will after today." "See," I tell him, "here they tell you to make a friend."

"Yeah, mom, but would you? Would you really? Cookies for a stranger and then take them to them?"

"Probably not. But what about this? Write a letter to someone you want to meet, tell them why you like them."

"I'm not writing letters to strangers telling them I like them, and then ask them to meet me. And I know Dad wouldn't be happy if you did that. You already don't have enough friends as it is."

"You're right. Well, here, listen to this one -- Go for a walk and give yourself a pep talk. Be good and loud and make sure you hear yourself."

"See? Now that's another crazy one. Do they want you to punch the air while you're shouting, too? Give me that, mom, I'll find something. Ha! Found one that you CAN'T do: Don't spend money today. This book is nuts, mom, just look at the last thing they want you to do." He hands the book over.

I read, "Tell a stranger her child is beautiful."

"See, mom? They want you to do all these things to strangers. This book's title is all wrong, A Deed a Day, more like How To Get Yourself Arrested.

Thanks for saving your mom today, little boy. I'm left home all alone with hours before me, and the road to prison was almost paved with a $5.99 paperback of good intentions.

* * *



  1. He might have a very valid point. Smart kid!

  2. Just wonderful... Thank you. The two of you are terrific! This quote just about kills me: "Do they want you to punch the air while you're shouting, too?" Guess that funny bone brilliance runs in the family!

    1. Did I tell you, Mother X, how happy it has made me to meet you this week? It does. xo

  3. For some reason, I'm having trouble leaving a comment today. Anyone, I wanted to say that I love this: "You already don't have enough friends as it is."

    Leave it to a kid to tell the harsh truth. (But you do have me). ;-)

  4. You know you're old when everything you say to your child is considered lame.
    Just sayin.
    My kid is 5 and he school's me on what is socially acceptable in 2013.

  5. ha.
    i was almost arrested the night before my wedding...
    note to self" stop giving loud affirmation talks as you walk---or someone may tell me my child is beautiful.

    1. Brian, your comments always leave me wishing you'd write narrative. So many stories...

  6. The kid has a point! He's a clever one.

  7. Well in his defense he does have a point. In many states some of that stuff could be considered stalking and the talking to yourself can get you locked up , especially if you tell them they are just jealous that the voices are only talking to you..

  8. "You already don't have enough friends as it is." That kid of yours: will he be my friend? I promise not to make him cookies or tell him he's beautiful, altho clearly he is.

  9. Sounds like a book on How To Be Stalkerish. Clearly the author has never heard of Stranger Danger.

    LOVED this post.


  10. Your son's assessment on the self help journal is spot on! :-) I love his humor and perspective on life. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, eh? First comes journaling, then he'll be blogging! Tell him if he does blog, I'll be reading! xoxo

  11. Ha Ha! Hey, Best Seller there. Diary-oops Chronicles of a Stalker : )

  12. Hilarious! Had no clue how the title fit at first with wandering in a bookstore - unless you are a kleptomaniac, with a weakness for books, and never told us. That "Self-help" chronicle, with all its creepy, great material, was just ripe for an awesome blogger and her clever boy to find it.

    Good job, Auggie, coming up with the title for this post.

  13. LOL! It definitely needs a title change! Half of those suggestions could totally be taken the wrong way.

  14. You are one lucky lady considering who has your back! ;)

  15. That self-help book/journal/diary contained a lot of helpful tips to keep you busy. Thank goodness you had your littlest there to steer you away from certain exhaustion.

  16. Ahahaha! Awesome. Also, I'd never bake cookies for anyone and give them away. Not unless I ate half of the batch first. Which would be tacky right? Hi, I made you cookies, but ate most of them before giving them to you, do you want be my friend? Probably everyone will say no.



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