The Children's Book Quote of the Day

Just another weblog

Not Afraid of Falling April 30, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Shanna @ 4:22 pm

“In other words,” he continued, “you can’t ride. That’s a drawback. I’ll have to teach you as we go along. If you can’t ride, can you fall?” “I suppose anyone can fall,” said Shasta. “I mean can you fall and get up again without crying and mount again and fall again and yet not be afraid of falling?” “I–I’ll try,” said Shasta. (from The Horse and his Boy by C S Lewis)

When I read this book, I feel certain that Lewis was a horseman at some level. He shows a respect for horses and a good sense of what it takes to learn to ride. For the first many years in which I learned to ride, there was very little falling. I rode safe and careful ponies in safe and careful ways (well, usually). But when I got my first horse, Tigger, I was in for something new altogether. Although I was already a reasonably accomplished young rider then, I didn’t know half as much as I thought I did. I probably could have had a similar conversation with Tigger then, except that it would have involved a lot of bravado from me and immaturity from Tigger–he was quite young and spunky then. I was proud of the fact that I was training him, and it wasn’t until years later that I realized that he taught me more than I taught him. And, often, the lessons he taught me involved falling. Tossing me unceremoniously to the ground was his way of protesting my over-eager and frequently misguided training methods. He taught me a lot about what NOT to do when training a horse.

But in all those times I came off of him, there were only two times that I didn’t get back on immediately. Looking back on it now, I feel like learning to fall, pick myself up, and mount up again was a really important life lesson. I won’t say that I was never afraid to get back on; I think I probably was at least a little afraid every time. Sometimes really afraid. But I think I was more afraid of what would happen–or what wouldn’t happen–if I didn’t get back on. And I think maybe that’s the way we ought to approach life. It’s not that we shouldn’t be afraid of falling, but rather that we should be more afraid of letting that fear stop us from living the life we were meant to live.


Around every corner April 28, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kristi @ 9:10 pm

Maybe Mama is right after all. Maybe life is like a Hollywood picture, with happy endings around every corner. The boy gets the girl. The millionaire adopts the orphan. The poor kid finds the pirate treasure. (from Turtle In Paradise by Jennifer Holm)

The commoner marries the prince! Don’t judge me, friends. I’m setting my alarm for 3:00am and heading to bed. 🙂


This is very sad

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kristi @ 1:54 pm

Who pandered to her every need?

Who turned her into such a brat?

Who are the culprits? Who did that?

Alas! You needn’t look so far

To find out who these sinners are.

They are (and this is very sad)

Her loving parents, MUM and DAD.

(from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl)


Half an hour every night April 26, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kristi @ 8:28 pm

Often, Charlie’s mother and father would come in as well, and stand by the door, listening to the stories that the old people told; and thus, for perhaps half an hour every night, this room would become a happy place, and the whole family would forget that it was hungry and poor. (from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl)


Luckier than we realize

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kristi @ 10:33 am

Most of us find ourselves beginning to crave rich steaming stews and hot apple pies and all kinds of delicious warming dishes; and because we are all a great deal luckier than we realize, we usually get what we want–or near enough. (from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl)


Spring Again April 24, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Shanna @ 9:20 pm

Wrong will be right, when Aslan comes in sight,

At the sound of his roar, sorrows will be no more,

When he bares his teeth, winter meets its death,

And when he shakes his mane, we shall have spring again. (from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C S Lewis)


Spring surpassed his wildest hopes.  (from The Return of the King by J R R Tolkein)

Spring has finally arrived here in Boston. Flowers are blooming, tiny leaves are forming on trees, and beautiful green grass is growing thick. If you’ve been reading the weekend posts for the past few months, you know that winter was long here. Long. Especially for a Texas transplant. And as it went along, slowly moving toward spring, I felt a sense of anticipation and longing for spring that I had never experienced before. You see, in Texas, spring comes in a hurry, trampling on the heals of winter. I was always happy for spring to come, but never eager–hungry–for it. So this was a new experience for me, and at first it was merely unpleasant; I just wanted spring to get here and was irritated that it was taking so long. But somehow it became more meaningful as the days and weeks stretched on toward Easter. It was as if the world around me was waiting, building up to something, preparing me for something. And then today was glorious. Of course, spring has been coming for a while now, but today was warm (in the mid 70s) and full of color. And it seems somehow symbolic and very beautiful that the first day that really feels to me like spring–the time when the whole world is renewed–falls on Easter.

[PS–sorry about not posting yesterday. I’ll do better next weekend.]


However small April 21, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kristi @ 10:35 pm

But there was one other thing that the grownups also knew, and it was this: that however small the chance might be of striking lucky, the chance was there. (from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl)


The one thing April 20, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kristi @ 10:58 pm

The one thing he longed for more than anything else was. . . CHOCOLATE. (from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl)

This morning my son pulled out all the stops for an all-out toddler tantrum. If you’ve seen his big, innocent looking blue eyes, you won’t believe me. But he was being a brat. Screaming words such as “NO!!!” and “MINE!!!!” with all the ugly exclamation points he could muster, he just pushed me to the limit. I did good. I told him that he wouldn’t get anywhere throwing a fit like that, and then I ignored him until he calmed down. The whole time I just kept thinking about one thing…



Ghastly April 19, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kristi @ 3:26 pm

For it isn’t normal to always be good—

I don’t think you’d want to, and I don’t think you should;

Just as food tastes better with a shake of salt,

A small bit of mischief is hardly a fault.

And life would be boring, and life would be grim,

If children were all goody-goody and prim.

(from Beastly Boys and Ghastly Girls by William Cole)

Yesterday I forgot to check the diaper bag for diapers before I went to my Mothers of Preschoolers meeting. You see, I usually just leave the diaper bag in the car since I only need it when I’m going somewhere, never when at home. If I use the last diaper in the bag, I make a mental note to grab a stack the next time I leave the house, but if someone else uses the last diaper, I have no idea that it’s empty. The last diaper must have been used in the church nursery on Sunday because yesterday the bag was diaperless.

I know this only because of the judgment that came down from one of the childcare workers. A couple of times I have failed to bring a sippy cup for Benjamin and this has apparently horrified this worker (I am not deaf, so I do overhear when she makes her remarks on the subject), but to forget a diaper probably lands me in some sort of scummy region of the mothering pond that we shouldn’t even mention on such a nice blog.

But here’s the thing. I always wanted to be the prim and perfect mother who would never forget a sippy cup, a diaper, or to give my child vitamins. But I’m just not her. And the weird thing is, I’m okay with that. Benjamin seems to be surviving and even thriving under my somewhat negligent care, so I’m not going to sweat the small stuff.

Jon and I watched Babies the movie recently, the documentary that follows four children from drastically different cultures from birth through early toddlerhood. We were both amazed at the difference in our child rearing sensibilities compared to those in Mongolia or Namibia. The film showed the Mongolian baby crawling through a cow pasture unattended, while cows literally stepped over him! The film also showed the American baby being cleaned off when a lint-roller after playing on the carpeted floor of her family’s home. I think maybe we could stand to be a little more relaxed in this country.

But I will take a few extra diapers to MOPS next week to replace the ones they may have had to use on Benjamin from the church closet. And if I hear any more remarks from the better people in the world, I’ll just remember this quote. It isn’t normal to always be good. 😉


Smelling Alive April 17, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Shanna @ 5:59 pm

The world smelled different, for a start. It smelled alive. Everything he looked at looked sharper, more real, more there. (from Odd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman)

This is a fairly accurate description of how I feel about the world around me right now. It’s still getting cold now and then (yesterday it didn’t get out of the 40s), but mostly, the days are longer, warmer, and brighter. Things have begun to bloom, and suddenly the gloomy gray of the city in winter is gone, replaced by yellows mostly, and some purples, and a few pinks. “The earth laughs in flowers,” Emerson said, and I believe it’s true. And although I’m still holding out to really call this spring yet–the trees are still mostly naked, though they have heavy buds that will burst forth in leaf any day now–it’s beginning to really feel like spring. It smells like spring–a combination of pollen, turned earth, and mulch. And a sort of freshness that I have no other words for than just to say that it smells alive.