I didn’t notice her reading the book at first. It was odd for her to be reading, but I figured, with as small as it was, it was probably some schoolbook she’d been assigned. But then I realized something odd; she had not complained about the book once. As I had said, Jessica isn’t much of a reader, so usually her assigned reading for school is accompanied by much huffing and puffing—that is, if she even reads it at all. I’ve walked into her room to find Spark Notes pulled up on her computer screen before a test more than once. I didn’t exactly approve, but I also didn’t really blame her either. Some of the books they assigned were very dry and uninteresting to an avid reader, much less someone like Jessica who didn’t like to read in the first place. Finally I decided I had to know what this book was that she was reading so willingly.
Using all of my stealth skills I had learned tiptoeing around the house when she was a baby, I snuck into her room, hoping to find the book. Luckily for me, I didn’t have to search too hard; she had left the book sitting on top of her bed. Of course, she happened to walk in as I was reading the title, catching me in the act of snooping. She rolled her eyes and gave me one of those signature, “Mom!”’s that teenagers are so apt to give, but she had really made me curious. Plus the title, A Field of Dandelions, hadn’t given me much to go on. So I hesitantly asked her what it was about, and what class she was reading it for. Her answer was quite the surprise. Not only was she reading it because a friend told her about it, but it was also a fantasy book! I have to admit, I was pretty stunned. I can’t recall ever seeing her with a non-schoolbook that wasn’t written by Nicolas Sparks. But it was also obvious that she wanted me to leave her alone so she could get back to reading, so I did.
That didn’t mean I stopped watching her though. Right before I started cooking dinner, she had sat down in her favorite chair in the living room, the book in her hands. The entire hour I spent cooking dinner, I kept one eye on her, watching. It was odd, watching someone read a book that I knew nothing about. Her face went through a whole range of emotions, none of which I could really figure out. Her eyes went wide, later she gasped, and at one point she even laughed out loud. By the end of the book tears were streaming down her face, and she looked like she had just run over somebody’s cat. With a soft little sigh, she uncurled herself from the chair and went to wash her hands for dinner. As soon as she left the room, I dashed over to the side table she had left the book on. I was going to read that book tonight.