A Wrinkle in Time

Deborah Meets Her Pig–the Aftermath of Charlotte’s Web

Debi was so excited to finally meet a pig. While reading Charlotte’s Web, she had petitioned me several times for her own little Wilbur.

Finally we got to the darling animal farm at Thanksgiving Point and Deborah was thrilled to see real pigs.


Until . . .

One pig had the nerve to poop in front of her.

Deborah was horrified.

“Ewwww Mom,” she said, just like my boys would say it when they found something wonderfully disgusting, but she was very disturbed, burying her face in my shoulders.


They really are disgusting.

She wanted to leave the pig pen immediately, and it was all I could do to get her to pose for a picture.

I guess we won’t have to buy a pig after all.


When did your fantasy turn into reality?  How did you deal with it?


What?! I’m Not Your Favorite Person? But I’m Your Mother!

I have loved the sweet sibling relationship between Charles Wallace and Meg in A Wrinkle in Time.  They seem to understand each other even better than their parents understand them, and this seemed perfectly natural.


When Ricky and I went home on the airplane after our trip to Germany, we enjoyed talking with a delightful older man from Seattle, delightful until he got out of Ricky that his older brother Eli was his first favorite person in the world.


“What?!!” I asked. I was sure I had first place by pretty big margins. Ricky nodded his head. “You mean I’m not your first favorite person in the world?”

“Well mom, you are my second favorite person in the world.” Thanks a lot.

“What? I just took you on a week long trip to Germany! What has Eli done for you?”

“He gets me presents.”

“Ricky, we just had your birthday party a week ago.  I bought all of the presents.  All of the presents.”

“Well Eli wraps the presents.”  Oh shoot.  I hate wrapping presents.

“You’re kidding me.  I take you to Germany, I practice piano with you every day, I make your food, I buy all of your presents, and Eli’s up on me just because he wraps your presents?”

“He does them really nice.”  The gentleman beside us was getting a good laugh out of all of this, but this was not funny. What was Ricky thinking?

eli and ricky  horizontal

Ricky ad Eli together four years ago.

But then after thinking about it for a while, I realized that I wouldn’t have it any other way.  Older siblings can be such a great benefit to younger siblings.  Eli is six years older than Ricky, and Eli’s a good kid.  Of course I want Ricky worshiping his older brother and turning out like him wouldn’t be a bad thing either!

A Hysterical 90 second movie on A Wrinkle in Time

So for all of you Wrinkle in Time fans out there, this video was hysterical!  It’s pretty good at totally making fun of the L:Engle’s book while still honoring it at the same time.   There is a festival every year where children can make their own 90 second Newberry Award winning book movie.  What a clever idea.  This site gives all the details for the rules of the contest.  My kids are so doing this!

How a Wrinkle in Time Finally Won Me Over

I admit that I’ve struggled with A Wrinkle in Time.  I have continued reading it to my boys because my eleven year old loves it so much.


Perhaps I feel that is harder to emotionally connect with sci fi.  So much  mental effort is required to understand these newly created worlds and trying to understand how the technology works in them can be confusing.

There also seems to be a certain unpredictability and so many characters just seem so strange.  What are they even doing here, I ask.

But at the end of A Wrinkle in Time, I was pretty moved.  So much of the book deals with Meg and Charles trying to rescue their father from another planet.   However, in saving their father, Charles Wallace becomes trapped and then left on the same planet, overpowered by a terrible darkness, also known as IT.  The darkness also leaves its imprint on Meg, and she is darker, angrier, more resentful.

She is angry, blaming her father, who she just barely rescued.  She becomes an unbearable scold, a relentless nag, and even we, the readers, who have been cheering for Meg all along, can hardly stand her.

How can she be so cruel to her father?  How can she tell him that he is useless?  How can she tell him that he failed so completely?

The masterfully L’Engle guides us right where she wants us.  Davy asks me, “If she wants her little brother saved so badly, why can’t she just do it herself?”

Ahh.  And wouldn’t you know it?  Meg is the only that can.

Charles Wallace hardly knows his father since he disappeared shortly after Charles was born.  But Meg and her little brother, Charles Wallace, have always had a special connection.  Charles can almost read Meg’s mind as is shown in the first scene of the book when Meg comes to the kitchen during a frightening rainstorm only to find Charles Wallace heating up some milk for her.  He knows what she needs before she does.  As Meg finally realizes, “Even though I don’t understand him, he understands me.”  She knows that she is the only one that can reach him that pull him out of the dark hypnotic grasp of IT.

She doesn’t know how she will do it.  She is scared.  Mrs. Whatsit, her mentor, tells her that she has something that IT does not have and that alone will rescue Charles.

We tesseract back with her to the dark planet.  She sees her helpless brother his mind is completely controlled by IT.  He tells her lies.  She begins to doubt herself, but then she fights back with anger and hatred until she realizes that hatred isn’t going to help her win over Charles Wallace.

What does she have that IT does not have?  She has love.

She tells Charles over and over again that she loves him.  He wakes up and run to Meg, and she holds him in her arms.  And then I was crying.

I realized that despite my discomfort with sci fi, I loved Meg and I loved Charles Wallace and I even loved Aunt Beastie, tentacles and all.

Do you enjoy science fiction?  What’s your favorite book?

Why Children Like Science Fiction More than Adults

As I’ve told you before, science fiction is not exactly my favorite genre of literature.   I guess I get a little vertigo when we are traveling between planets all the time.  Tesseracting (space travel through manipulating time) is definitely way out of my comfort zone, and we’ve had to tesseract like six times now.  I’m struggling with it more than poor Meg!


A good English regency book is more my style, where everything is a bit more predictable and where there are a lot more rules.  Certainly a multi-tentacled alien is not allowed to just show up at the end of the book, especially without an introduction!


My son is just eating up A Wrinkle in Time.  When you have an eleven year old son who absolutely hates to read, but begs you to keep reading to him, you would read sci fi too.   Unlike me, Davy is really not into rules, so why would he bother to learn the ins and out of the Regency Era protocol? (I, on the other hand, wonder why I love books with rules.  Is is because nobody listens to my rules?  A world where people care about rules is what I call a fantasy book.)

Sci fi seems to have no rules, or if it does the rules are changing, expanding, just like science itself is changing and expanding, and Davy LOVES that.   I suppose children’s minds are so much more flexible than our grown up minds.

Unlike me, Davy is completely comfortable with planet hopping.  I will continue to planet hop no matter how queasy my stomach gets, especially because he won’t let anyone read to him but me.   This comes as quite a surprise.  Davy is so not a Mama’s boy, and he usually stays out of my line of vision to avoid getting asked to do chores.

But at 8:00 at night, I’m suddenly his favorite person.  Aw.  I’m flattered.

Reading to Children When You Are Exhausted

You may have noticed that I didn’t post yesterday.  Actually, most of you probably didn’t notice.

I have an excuse though.  I am dealing with the worst case of jet lag ever!  Even as I write, there is a high chance I may not finish this sen—


As you know, my little Ricky and I went to Germany last week to visit my sister.  Since we’ve been home, we’ve been crashing sometime between 6:00 and 9:00 at night and waking up sometime between 2:00 and 4:30 a.m.  While you would think that getting up so early would be greatly improving my productivity, I’m still netting around five hours a night, and I’m walking around like a zombie.

Ricky is pretty funny too.  I usually bump into him around 5:00 a.m.

Last night he said, “Will you read that part of Heidi to me that you read last night?”

“You mean that part where you fell asleep?” I asked.

“Yeah,” that part, he said.

Two minutes later he asked, “Do you think you could not read Heidi tonight?” as his eyes dropped closed.

“Ya sleepy?”

“Yeah,” he said before drifting off .  As you can imagine, the jet lag has interfered a bit with our reading routines, but I’m been still trying my best to keep it going!

Last night as I read A Wrinkle in Time to my older boys, I keep nodding off.  After all it was almost 8:30.  Davy was sorely disappointed that I hadn’t read much so I got myself up, got in my pajamas, and then went back down to his room to read a bit longer, but I fell asleep again in five minutes.

Finally, I got into my own bed with Debi in tow, explaining to me that since I hadn’t read Heidi to her, I owed her a Persian Cinderella story.  I got in bed and started reading it to her, and was just dying about halfway through.  I finished the book early, hoping she wouldn’t that there were about ten pages left.  I wouldn’t know because I was out before I could even hear her protest.

This morning I was delighted to see that I had slept in until 4:45 a.m.  So why am I so tired?

What I Love about A Wrinkle in Time

I am posting today from my IPhone. Can you believe such a thing is possible? I spend so much time cursing technology, but then there are moments that just blow me away.

I am spending my second night in Germany now. I miss the captain. I miss reading to the kids. But it’s always good to get a break from the routine—to get some more perspective. Like yesterday, I said to myself, “Why aren’t my kids doing more chores?”

I also thought that after my critique of A Wrinkle in Time, I should mention a few things I absolutely love about the book. L’Engle has such a gift with words.

She is so lyrical that it’s like reading poetry. I just love to read it aloud because it has a rhythm, a sense of continuity, and stopping almost seems like a betrayal to the book. Are we not invested in helping Meg look for her father? Every time we stop reading, I feel like we are letting Meg down.