Know how I could tell my younger son was away on his week-long disc golf vacation? I finished reading a book, “The Help,” in my comfy, living-room chair without having to dodge discs or balls being thrown at me. Or without him asking me to let him drive (he recently got his permit) or take him somewhere.
Yes, I’ve appreciated the quiet. But, oh, how I’ve missed that boy while he’s traveled to and from an amateur disc golf tournament in North Carolina with his pals T.J. and Papa Patrick and his 17-month-old daughter Tristin Lee. I call it the “Two and Three-Quarters Men and a Baby” tour. Along the way to Charlotte, they played disc golf courses in Alabama and Georgia. Now that the two-day Charlotte Amateur Championship is over, they should be back in the Houston area tomorrow.
I can’t wait to see my #2 son and return to my chauffeuring and driver’s ed duties! As well as trying to catch discs and balls in the living room.
As for “The Help,” it was such a page-turner! Usually, I only read books while I eat lunch. But with this novel, I just had to sit down and devour the last third in one big gulp. The best-seller is about Jackson, Mississippi, in the early 1960s when many white families hired black domestics to raise their kids and clean their houses. It’s told from the point of view of three strong women: Two maids, Aibileen Clark and Minny Jackson, and Eugenia “Skeeter” Phelan, a white woman who takes an interest in their plight and tries to write a book about the lives of a dozen Jackson domestics.
Sidebar: Even though I grew up in the 1960s, I lived in Chicago and didn’t experience anything like what was in “The Help.” But the Mister, who was raised in Fort Worth, has told me stories about segregation in Texas; he well remembers the separate public bathrooms and drinking fountains of that time.
“The Help” is so well-written by Kathryn Stockett that I found myself worried about what might happen to Aibileen, Minny, and Skeeter, and I cried at the ending. Now I can’t wait to see the movie, which comes out on August 12.
What a nice early birthday present for me!