“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.