“Life isn’t like those books you read,” my mother is saying;             She is standing in the doorway to my bedroom. Her arms are folded together, indian-style,

“You are going to find out, Life isn’t like Nancy Drew'” she repeats, angrily. I keep my eyes on the page of my book. I refuse to make eye contact with my mother.  Nancy Drew is solving a mystery. I want my life to be like Nancy Drew’s.  I want to live with my father and a housekeeper who makes cinnamon toast and hot cocoa, who doesn’t have a mother interfering in everything.  I don’t respond.  The words in my book are blurry from my tears that gall onto the page.

My mother and I have had yet another argument, and I escaped to my room to sit on the bed and read, hoping to forget.  I am thirteen years old.

My mother is right–Life isn’t like the one Nancy Drew leads.  I learn that for myself. But I never forget the words of my mother, spoken bitingly, grimly, ruthlessly.

Many years later, I found myself wondering–Did my mother once wish to be like Nancy Drew? Was she sharing her harsh reality with me? Life hasn’t been like Nancy Drew’s but I still have some of her books and occasionally enjoy reading them.

I never told my sons that life wasn’t like that of the Hardy Boys.  I don’t tell my granddaughters that life isn’t like Nancy Drew’s –or, for today’s generation, that of Harry Potter’s.

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