Feb 3, 2014 - Uncategorized    Comments Off on Of Sharon Creech and Limited Edition Oreos

Of Sharon Creech and Limited Edition Oreos

I just finished The Boy on the Porch, and I’m feeling kind of torn about it.  I ended up really liking it, mind you…it’s a brief, simply-worded book about the children we take into our lives (NOT our own, in this case), and I found it beautiful.  Sharon Creech at her best is very good at tugging at your heartstrings, and while this wasn’t quite her best (can you top Walk Two Moons or Love That Dog or Heartbeat or Granny Torelli Makes Soup?), it was hardly her worst, either (and her worst isn’t exactly BAD).  I was torn for two reasons for much of the (admittedly short!) book, but the spareness of the writing and the plot ultimately worked for me, if barely.  The second reason is why I still feel torn, and it’s quite a different problem.  As a teacher, a parent, an aunt, an occasional tender of friends’ children…as all of these things I loved the book.  And perhaps if I’d read it as a child, I’d enjoy it in a completely different way, but–I’m having trouble seeing the appeal for young readers.  What will they get out of it?  Will they see and understand the pathos?  If a child has always had a reasonably happy, stable home–and yes, I know that that’s not the norm nowadays, but IF–will he or she relate to this story in a meaningful way?  It’s such a short, simple book.  I’m afraid that by the time a child is old enough to appreciate what’s going on emotionally, he/she is going to dismiss it on sight as a younger child’s book.  Has anyone out there read this one?  What do YOU think?

Anyway.  BEFORE all the kiddos were in bed and I got to finish my book, I did my Monday grocery shopping, and I must confess that the two new Limited Edition! varieties of Oreos sucked me in.  Friends, it did not used to be so.  I didn’t grow up eating a lot of junk food, and while I’ve always had a sweet tooth, I never used to buy cookies.  (Mostly because I like to taste the BUTTER when I’m eating a cookie, and to do that, you have to either spend more money or make them yourself.  Nothing tastes like a homemade chocolate chip cookie.)  In fact, when I got married (to man who’s fond of pretty much ANY cookie containing chocolate), I could take or leave an oreo most of the time.  But then–then–then, my friends, my third pregnancy happened.  It was–the oreo pregnancy.  I spent my second and third trimesters craving the homemade cookies and cream ice cream I had growing up, and I never found anything that tasted half as good (we don’t have an ice cream maker), and it was very, very sad.  And even though that baby is now 19 months old (today!), I still find I can’t resist trying whatever new flavor of oreo I see.  (Most of them I only try once, especially since my husband has NOT liked the banana split oreos OR the berry burst ice cream oreos.)  Today I got sucked into the cookie dough oreos AND the marshmallow crispy (read:  Rice Krispie Treat) oreos, and I couldn’t resist.  (In the interest of full disclosure, I BARELY resisted the lemon oreos, which were originally a limited edition flavor but have no such phrase on their package now.  I mostly resisted them because I figured they could wait for another shopping trip.)  I have now tried them both, and I am–drum roll!–undecided.  The marshmallow ones are golden oreos, and they are very, very sweet.  You must be in the mood for a LOT of sugar.  The cookie dough kind were actually not as sweet as I expected them to be, which wasn’t really a problem, but they weren’t quite what I expected (in some vague, undefinable way).  I’m still deciding how I feel about them.

I shall probably have to eat quite a few more before I can come to an informed decision.  It’s so very hard to be me…

 

The Boy on the Porch


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