My son, Henry asked me last week when I told him my book was coming out soon if I thought it would be made into a movie and I laughed. I guess it’s not completely crazy but it is fairly crazy-ish. In any case, no, it’s not a movie. That was a deliberate attempt to entice you to read the post, I admit it. Sorry.
But because the countdown in on for the book release I thought I’d post some excerpts over the next few weeks for you to peruse, if that’s your thing. Rest assured there will be a multitude of posts and tweets and Facebook status updates about how you can get your hands on a copy as that information comes to me but in the meantime here’s but a foretaste of what I hope you’ll judge to be a fine addition to your home library, bedside table or carry on luggage for the fabulous vacation I know you’re planning.
I’ll start with a short passage from a chapter called Growing Up Catholic just to kick things off 🙂
Excerpt from Nearly Orthodox: on being a modern woman in an ancient tradition
The first time I rode a two-wheeled bike, it was with my older brother J.D. standing behind me, both hands on the back of the wide leather seat, his legs straddling the back wheel to keep it steady. I was nervous. I did not want to fall, but more than that I did not want to fail. J.D. spoke quick directions into my ear, using phrases like “it’s easy,” “don’t worry,” “keep pedaling,” and “just go with it.” It was his new Schwinn—racing red and shiny chrome—and my dirty white sneakers barely met the thick black pedals. My brother instructed me to straighten my legs to put pressure on the top pedal, to push off and get the bike started. So I pressed into it and pedaled while he held the seat and ran behind me guiding the bike, keeping it steady as he held both hands on the wide leather seat.
I was beginning to get the hang of it, feeling the balance of the bike, my pedaling working against the pull of gravity with each pump, each straightened leg, each bent knee. I turned to tell him I could do it on my own and when I turned to tell him he could let go, I saw him standing a block down, waving and smiling. Then I hit the telephone pole.
J.D. came running up to me, and ignoring the bike, he helped me to my feet, checking the damage to my head and limbs as I apologized over and over. It was his brand new bike. I was afraid of breaking something he valued so much. I did not want to disappoint him.
My older brother and I are only seventeen months apart. There are photos of us growing up in which he is wearing a certain striped T-shirt one year and then I am wearing the same shirt the following year. We often sat together in the beat-up recliner in our living room, arms around each other, talking about the neighbor kids or the new baby in our house. We had a lot in common when we were young. We played the same games—Twister, Sorry, and Uncle Wiggly. We watched the same shows—Gilligan’s Island after school, Star Trek on the weeknights, and Wonderama on Sunday mornings before church. We liked the same foods—hot dogs and boxed mac & cheese.
At our beginnings we all seem to have a lot in common. And then we grow and change, and suddenly his shirts won’t fit my body type any longer, his soldiers don’t want to hang out with my baby dolls, his politics don’t mesh with my politics. We are still family, but we are not the same. We share a history, a starting point, a beginning, but our becoming shows where the path divides, long after we sat together in the easy chair, long after our parents’ divorce, long after I crashed his bike into that telephone pole.