It’s the last week of band camp and the Adorable Baby is, for once, healthy. So of course I’ve picked up a nasty stomach bug somewhere and I’ve spent the past 36 hours miserably sick.

But, hey, I did catch up on some reading.

Some of it, I had to do simply to keep me from losing my mind. Miss Autism decided to spend part of the afternoon destroying the walls again, so her dad was pretty upset when he got home and found his hard work wrecked. So I had to ground her to her bedroom at bedtime. All of her sleep medicine was to no avail, so I had to park the chaise in front of her little hallway that leads from her bedroom to her bathroom and refuse to let her come out into the main part of the house.

She was pissed, to say the least. She spent at least an hour obsessing over a wall socket that she wanted to take off. I eventually let her, simply because I was sick of hearing her say “socket” over and over again. So I ended up spending 3 1/2 hours sitting in front of her hall, telling her repeatedly that she couldn’t come break any more lightbulbs (her new fun activity) on the floor or shred the covers off my books (another new hobby. One I loathe.) Or tear the corners out of the drywall, which is making our house look like something from Fallujah.

Speaking of destroyed Iraqi cities, I did spend the time in reading Dexter Filkins’ book about that conflict, “The Forever War.” I found it pretty depressing, although interesting. There’s only so much inhumanity that you can read about before you start wondering if we’re just too bad to be saved. While I must believe that we are (it’s kind of the point of Christianity), it’s a hard thing at times when you’re reading about insurgents using drills and knives and whatever-else they could get their hands on to torture people who disagreed with them. Still it’s a valuable piece of reporting, just to keep that horrible mess in mind (and the price we’ve paid in blood to try to solve it.)

I also finally forced myself to go back and read through “The House of Mirth” from the beginning. While I admire Edith Wharton’s writing ability, the characters just were never freed to actually be “real” (inasmuch as fictitious characters ever can be, of course.) I didn’t particularly enjoy “The Age of Innocence“, either, though– once again, she had a very dismal sort of sense of what was possible between two people who were separated by social strictures.

One wonders if Mrs. Wharton actually liked men much at all– her male characters all seem to either be grasping fat greedy middleaged wrecks or ball-less young men who think they’re intellectual but lack all courage of their convictions. This is, I admit, on the basis of only two books, but I am somewhat discouraged by this trend. It makes me hesitant to pick up another of her novels– life’s plenty depressing in reality (hello, Fallujah) without adding to my misery with another unsuccessful love affair doomed because the main characters are too weak to “go for it” against the mores of their social group.

But, then, I never was one to give the very least damn what people thought. Maybe other people worry about it a lot more than I do. There’s a price, either way.

Anyway, busy as can be lately. Got the older kids registered for school yesterday, shuttled them around to work and band camp, and spent a lot of time trying not to throw up. Hoping that today is better. Tired of someone being sick every single day!


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