One of the quirks about having only daughters is that, unless you happen to have a pack of boy cousins handy, your girls might find the behavior of boys a bit shocking.
You see, our girls have a lot of friends that are boys. In fact, most of their friends are boys. But when Lydia started school, we learned that a boy (singular) is different than boys (plural), and that our daughter—who was just fine playing Legos with a boy (singular), or reading quietly on the couch with a boy (singular)—came home weepy and overwhelmed after spending a day in the company of boys (plural).
(Let the record state that her school is a small cooperative school, in the Classical tradition, with about a dozen students aged five to ten. So when I say “many boys,” I mean five. Five boys, with their yelling and chasing and leaping off of playground equipment, was enough to make her hide out in the classroom during recess, clutching a copy of Little House on the Prairie.)
You can imagine my interest, then, when a friend mentioned the premise of Eight Cousins: delicate Rose Campbell finds herself surrounded by strapping young lads (cousins, all) when sent to live with her great-aunts Peace and Plenty (actual names).
When I read through the book myself, I was confirmed in my suspicion that this book was a keeper. So many endearing relatives! Such a great illustration of camaraderie between boys and girls! Plus, one of Rose’s many aunts (the best aunt of all, really) indulges in a lengthy tirade about what constitutes trashy reading, thus forever winning my allegiance.
I haven’t read this book to Lydia yet, but only because we’re firmly entrenched in the American Girl books right now (see? It’s not all hard-core literature around here. We’re reading Kaya’s Hero, if you want to know). But Eight Cousins is next in the queue, and we’re both looking forward to reading it.
By the way, Lydia has changed her tune about boys since September. After that first month of tears and trepidation, she jumped into the fray and never looked back. Now, when I peek out the window while tidying the lunch room (it’s a co-op, remember), I see her brown braids bouncing along in the thick of a game involving a prison, some jump ropes, a wild horse or two and boys (plural).
Louisa May Alcott (1875)
An Exciting Announcement
I recently started working as a copy editor for Deeply Rooted magazine! This is exciting for two different reasons. Firstly, Deeply Rooted is the kind of publication I can wholeheartedly endorse and I am thrilled at the prospect of reading through (and bonding with) their articles. For more about who they are, what they do and why they love to do it, click here (and order a copy!).
Secondly, I get to edit. I didn’t know how much I enjoyed editing until I found myself saying (on multiple occasions, and with audible italics), “Oh, you write? Well, if you ever want somebody to read things through for you, please send them my way. I love helping with stuff like that.”
Having an outlet for my enthusiasm is great, though the jury is still out as to whether this will make me more or less bearable as I person. I figure it’ll be like my first weeks working as a dental assistant, when I had trouble navigating conversations because all I could see when I looked at people were teeth, teeth, teeth. Eventually, that went away, and so one hopes that, eventually, I’ll stop seeing ellipses, ellipses, ellipses every time I read a blog post. (The fact that Mitch has taken to reading particularly adjective-laden passages aloud from The Da Vinci Code—just to spite me—is not helping.)
Lest I grow too snobbish, though, I ask you: have you seen the number of parentheses in this post? And the italics! Somebody fetch me a red pen, stat!