You know how people say that you appreciate your parents only after you yourself become one?
Because I don’t live close to my family (my mother + siblings), my pregnancy, the stressful first year with M, and the last two years have gone by without many reminders of my own childhood and what it must have been like bringing me up. As a result, I haven’t consciously or otherwise compared my own parenting experiences to those of my parents. Sure, my mum gave birth and raised us. All (most) parents do that.
Today, M’s school teacher handed over a pile of books to me (okay, four) to “cover and return tomorrow morning.” The plastic sheet covers were already tucked around the book and it was merely a matter of sticking them into place – surely she could have done it? It was pouring rain like Noah had not seen and I brought those colourful books back home where they sat until M had gone to sleep for the night.
It is a good thing I had plenty of cello-tape handy. And Facebook.
It’s been years (decades?) since I last covered a book with a plastic sheet. Paper, yes. But plastic? Yech. The smell is so new-term and the material slippery. I prefer paper any day. But plastic is what we had to work with, so it was I found myself a little before midnight measuring, cutting, sticking, cursing and wishing Mr. R were here to handle this (isn’t this what husbands are good for?) instead of being away.
I wish I had some Washi Tape. That would cheer me up. Not sure what the teacher would make of it, though.
Struggling through the first book (slippery, slippery), I suddenly thought of my parents and the years of brown-paper-and-labels hell they probably went through each school year. And they had three kids. And a lot more books with each passing academic year. Poor things.
This is what is going through my head right now: I wish we were of more help with such things when we were younger. I can’t remember if we helped or not; most likely we were far too incompetent and impatient to do a good job. It would have been up to our tired, weary, hungry parents to stay up late and finish the books.
Like I am doing now.
The circle of life.