Being a mother is the best thing I have ever done. With that said, allow me to complain about one negative aspect of motherhood. I have gotten DUMBER. I realized this the other day when I was in the mood for a good book. I was browsing through my bookshelf and nothing looked appealing. I saw my favorite book ever, Pride and Prejudice. I HATE to admit this, but the thought ACTUALLY came into my head, "No, I don't feel like reading something that requires that much thought." Immediately after thinking that, I was struck with the realization of my diminishing intelligence.
Back in college, as an ENGLISH LITERATURE MAJOR, mind you, I absolutely loved to read. I read tons of books, all the time. And now I have gotten to the point where a Jane Austen novel is just too much work. Not that motherhood is directly responsible for this--Eva does not require so much of me that I simply don't have time to read. It's just that I have chosen to do other things for so long that I've completely gotten out of the habit of exercising my mind.
Overwhelmed with shame, I set out looking for a good book to read that would get me back in reading mode. At this exact same time, I reestablished contact with my best friend from college, Trevor Berrett. Let it be known that Trevor probably had more influence on me in college than any other living person, and I trust his opinion on all things literary more than anyone else I know. We lost touch years ago and have both since gotten married and had a child and one on the way. Thanks to the power of Facebook, we are officially friends again. :) On his Facebook profile, he has a list of his favorite books. As in the past, I was suddenly compelled to read anything he recommended (much to the chagrin of my dear husband, who was insulted that I have not yet read a book he recommended, despite my attempt at kindly explaining to him that Trevor's recommendations are in a whole different category).
So yesterday at Walmart I found The Road by Cormac McCarthy. I started reading that. But my thirst for books was not quite satisfied, so I went to the library today to pick up three more off Trevor's list: The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood, One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro. I also bought the movie of the latter, as that was also on Trevor's list of favorite movies.
Hopefully, thanks to Trevor's accidental help, I am on my way to restoring my full mental capacity. No more living in ignorance for me. With just a little effort, I will soon be able to say once again, in full honesty, that Pride and Prejudice really is still my favorite book. And it's not over my "motherly" head.
P.S. I must clarify that I do not worship Trevor as some sort of English major god. After our long friendship, I simply came to trust his judgment on things like this. :)