Peaking out of my shell

by Andrea Elizabeth

My daughter lost her library card so I had to go in anyway. I’m glad I did because I ended up liking the new legless chair that rocks as I glanced at a book about word origins while the girls browsed. “To badger” comes from the old “sport” of chaining a badger through the tail and releasing dogs on him till he was too maimed to fight back. Yikes. I had to be present for her to get a new card as they need someone with a driver’s license and she doesn’t have one. Going up to the check-out desk feels like going to confession. Turns out she also has to change her info about her legal last name. She prefers to use my third last name, and we didn’t know it mattered when we originally gave it. I was asked to verify that I’m her real mother twice. Thankfully she believed me, but I did get a sidelong glance. That’s one reason I don’t like going out. I also get “Are all these kids yours?” a lot, and I usually feel I need to be both inclusive and honest. But really it’s not their business. I came up with a cheesy, “Yes. Some naturally, and some by choice,” the other week at IHOP. Aww. So my daughter had to pay a three dollar late fee, as well as an extra dollar to get a new card. It’s a racket. If you average $3 per book fine, it would take 43 free, public domain books to break even on a Kindle. It’s worth it to me. But it was nice to see fellow homeschool families who haunt the place during school hours. They always have way larger stacks, and their kids either look exaggeratedly trendy or slightly disheveled, but refreshingly like they have an inner life. My neighbor’s been commenting on how many times my girls go out in the yard with their super warm pajama pants. Oh well. I’m also glad I heard a lady tell someone on her cell phone that “she’s in the hospital”, so that I could covertly pray for her.

Oh, and the checkout lady at Walmart asked if I wanted to bag my milk! A+. No, Thank You.

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