When my daughters were two and three years old, I enrolled them in their first little preschool. We'd done "Mom's Day Out" dealies before, but this was the real thing--multiple days, teachers, learning letters, scissors...
It was great because all three of us also got to know most of the families who live in our small town. The next year, I signed on as room mom for my youngest's class and presto! Instant group of mommy friends.
Then the oldest layer started kindergarten, and since the area's growing, there are two elementary schools now. So the separations began.
Fast forward three more years, most of us are back in full-time jobs, fall activities have started, and our little ladies have diverse tastes. They're all over the place and so are the mommies. And it's sad.
I fondly recall a time when we'd all gang up after preschool at my house or one of the six of us's house, all the kids running and playing, us chatting.
Now we're running all over creation and if not for Facebook, we'd lose track of each other. In the tiny little place we live even.
After two weeks of no contact, I complained to one of my mommy friends that it was getting ridiculous. We had to find a way to get together at least once a month. She agreed, and over the summer I floated the idea of a book club.
Our first meeting was the end of August, and since it was my bright idea, I got to lead off and set up The Rules.
First rule of Book Club: You do not talk about book club.
Not really. But being me and keeping in mind my goals, we decided we needed at least nine core members to cover the nine months we'd meet (taking off Dec., June and July). When it's your month, you're in charge--you pick the book, the location, the time, lead the discussion, etc.
If a member doesn't like the current selection for whatever reason or runs out of time to finish, come anyway and pretend (or not). It's all very low pressure, and apart from the nine we need to make it work, it's open to anyone who wants to drop in and read/discuss our current selection.
How'd I find members? I brainstormed and invited friends who I'd usually find myself in animated book discussions with at parties. Or friends I always found myself telling about the latest book she had to read.
Then I told those guys to invite anyone they thought would be into it, and at our first meeting, we had ten moms and one who got sick at the last minute and couldn't be there. (There was even a near-mutiny with moms insisting we could go all 12 months--we had enough members... Okay, okay--I'm into it!)
Following my full disclosure introduction, our first selection was The Hunger Games. There were a few tentative readers--we're a diverse group, and a few of the moms weren't sure if they could read a book about children fighting to the death.
As of now, I've heard from almost everyone and at our next meeting, they're all bursting to discuss all three books in the trilogy.
Back when I suggested a book club, I was nervous. I worried everyone would agree to do it and then it would end up being me and one or two friends (there out of guilt). Then I worried everyone would show up, decide the books were crap or they couldn't commit, and never come back.
What I hoped would happen is what actually happened. A group of intelligent, hilarious, fun-loving mom-friends looking for a way to keep in touch while sharing a common interest jumped on the bandwagon, fell in love with the selections, and I think we're up to 13 planning to attend Tuesday.
Why am I telling you this? Don't be scared to give it a try. Books have so much positive energy. They fill those of us who write them with joy, but there's nothing more fun than sharing them with others and getting different views of the subject. I've already been alerted that three of our BCB*OGs think Mockingjay is awesome and I'm totally wrong about it.
I think that's totally awesome, and I can't wait to hear what they say. Love~ <3