And yet, and yet...things do get done. The lunches are made, the house is standing, homework is neatly completed, and the kids and I take turns reading to each other after dinner. Lately, Ri likes to read from her own writing: stories set in Sweden for no apparent reason, sunsets the color of "orange sorbet," and characters who like to "ponder" quite a bit. It's hilarious. Her sisters listen attentively and offer appropriate praise when she's done. Vi likes to read out loud from Stone Soup (remember Stone Soup?!), which is filled with stories and art by kids who are around their age. And Lea is into Jack Prelutsky poems—clever little rhyming pieces about "homework machines" and gigantic pizzas and whatnot. Last night—miracle of miracles!—they requested I read from Gombrich's A Little History of the World, and then they asked for Rex Warner's Men and Gods: Myths and Legends of the Ancient Greeks (the NYRB edition with Edward Gorey illustrations!), and after more than an hour of this I had to have been the happiest mother in the world.
Then they all wandered off humming Katy Perry songs and arguing about who would get to log onto Woozworld first, and I was forlorn. But you know what? We got some good stuff in, right? I've decided that I will use the same rule of thumb I use for their eating: as long as they consume leafy greens every day, I'm okay with some Halloween candy.
In other news of the world, Cecilia Brainard came to San Francisco to join me for the PAWA-hosted book launch of Angelica's Daughters. I turned my report around quickly, and you can read it here (with pictures and everything!). Cyndi Vasallo, who joined us and read a wonderful story, also blogged about the event. Anyways, I can't think of a more pleasant way to spend an early Saturday evening than hanging out with folks who write, enjoy, and support Filipino and Fil-Am literature, so high-fives all around.