A Love Letter to My Books

To my beloved books on my nightstand,

I have not forgotten you. I know it doesn’t seem like it, what with the layer of dust blanketing your covers. When I gave you the place of honor on the nightstand, you knew you were within arms’ reach of being read, being appreciated, being loved. You’d made it to the “big dance.” You weren’t warming the bench like those books on the bookshelf in the guest room closet. It was your time!

Alas, there you sat. Sometimes you held the remote control for me, silently, not complaining. Other books joined you as I got ambitious and continued to find more titles that I just HAD to read. Gang Leader for a Day, The Hunger Games, every book by Jen Lancaster…you all huddled together, remaining optimistic that I would remember you. I would give you the attention you deserved! Just wait until summer break! Every year, I made the same promise.

I can still hear the whimper that escaped your pages the day I brought home a new set of titles – What to Expect When You’re Expecting, The Girlfriends’ Guide to Pregnancy, Your Pregnancy Week by Week. I promised that I’d give you attention too, what with 8 more months of “relaxing” before baby comes! And then I’d be on maternity leave! Twelve weeks to watch a baby eat and sleep – I’d have tons of time to read! If you had eyes, you’d have rolled them right out the door.

And you were right. The pregnancy books were soon replaced by parenting books – What to Expect the First Year, On Becoming Baby Wise, Sippy Cups are not for Chardonnay (a good reminder!). Every night, I’d thumb through the pages of these new books, willing the answers to be there about every parenting question I have. And every night, you waited patiently. Even as I added Gone Girl, Defending Jacob, and What Alice Forgot to the group, you welcomed them with warm eyes as if to say, “Hang in there…our day will come.”

Now here we are…eight years later. The parenting books are long gone because, let’s face it, parenting is all about winging it, am I right? You knew that all along. Ready Player One, Bitter Harvest, and The Girl on the Train have joined your tribe. You pretended to not notice when I (gasp!) downloaded books to my iPad, only to see them sit on the Cloud, waiting. Now you occasionally hold the Apple TV remote while I binge-watch Netflix.

But, you stood a little taller when I made my son read the first Harry Potter book with me before he could watch the movie. You hear me preach to my kids about the importance of reading and not staring at a screen all the time. You know I try to model that when they are around. You know I mean what I say. You know I will be back… someday. Thanks for not giving up on me.



Jen was born and raised in Overland Park. After going to Indiana University for college, then living in Washington, D.C. and Chicago, she grew exhausted of circling for a parking spot and headed back home to be near family. She and her husband Matt are parents to a 10 year-old boy and a 8 year-old girl. Jen teaches kindergarten and her husband teaches high school, so they wonder how they’ll relate to their kids during the middle school years. She spends her free time cheering on the Chiefs, Royals, and Hoosiers, hanging out with family, laughing with her teacher friends, and fostering a love/hate relationship with boxing. She also loves traveling, Target, coffee, wine, sunflowers and all things pop culture.


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