The Book Club Beard May 07 2015

Last week, the Bozzy kids got themselves into some deep ... books.  What did you think that I was going to say?  It is a book club.

We were surrounded by books – wall to wall, floor to ceiling ... books, books, books, and more books. 

We usurped the South Shore Public Library here in Lunenburg and got lost in the labyrinth of books in the space. Our bozzies can get pretty comfortable at the library.  Most of them participated in the Storytime program as babies and some still attend the programs offered by the library for school children throughout the year.  We filled the space snugly and got right at home.  Dare I admit this – we are a big, loud, energetic bunch of booklovers. We could get "at home" anywhere!

Being a big, loud, energetic bunch of booklovers in the library, we thought it would be a smart idea to give the kids some mandalas to color as they arrived.  Mandala simply means circle in Sanskrit.  They are symbols with simple geometric designs or very complicated artistic patterns that combine the benefits of meditation and art therapy.  Did my plan work?  Meh.  But the colors were pretty, and it was far more acceptable than a hefty dose of Benadryl.

We then gathered for a special story from one of our Bozzy mamas, the sweet and soft-spoken Beth Ann Knowles.  Beth Ann, you may recall from my last post, has an alter ego, The Winter Beard, who is a wonderful writer of many genres.  The Winter Beard knows how to swear and roll out rhymes for testicle like nobody's business.  She has created an online presence with weekly artistic projects that run the gamut from diy reupholstering, to poetry, songs, short stories and videos, and she has a notebook (albeit electronic) filled with children’s stories just waiting for massive publication.  I am waiting for The Winter Beard indie-alt-rap-experimental album, personally.  Believe me, she could pull it off.  Her writing is fun and witty and hilariously self-deprecating, but also deep and beautiful.  If you have not paid a visit to The Winter Beard, I would strongly advise that you do, but only after you finish reading this post.

Beth Ann read The Monster Under My Couch to the children, a story about a little girl who has a bone to pick with the monster living under the couch that keeps stealing all of her family's belongings.  She devises a plan to trick that monster and in doing so, overcomes her own monster fears.  After her story, Beth Ann talked with the kids about fears and other scary imaginings concocted by our minds.

Even this monster on the armchair.

The children were eager to share their own fears and learn some techniques to ease those terrible thoughts. One coping mechanism was a deep breathing exercise and another was creating a happy board.  Beth Ann showed the kids how to make a happy board - a collage of things that make you feel good from magazine cutouts and paper.

The kids flipped through their magazines and started working, cutting and gluing as they crafted a smorgasbord of happy images.  

My daughter Norah proudly shared her board - a plethora of typical happy things such as babies, tropical vacation resorts, happy children, flowers, money-loving monkeys and (see front and center) a toilet.  Yes.  A toilet. With a puppy sitting on it.  That's my girl.  Who is not happy on a toilet, right?

After the kids wrapped up their calm collaging, we shared two more books about fears and getting past them - Scaredy Squirrel At The Beach by Melanie Watt and Mirette on the High Wire by Emily Arnold McCully.

The bozzy buddies had another fun week together.  Hopefully, they have taken some of their newfound meditation skills home with them for the monsters living under their beds, in their closets, or in that salad that they are just too terrified to eat.  Hopefully, the moms and dads poured themselves a happy glass or simply gave themselves a calming stamp on the hand, like this wee bozzy.

The Bozzy Book Club thanks the Lunenburg library for sharing their space with us and especially Barbara, Barbara, and Janet for tolerating our enthusiasm.  Thank you to Beth Ann for sharing one of her stories with the kids.  We can't wait for the next one.  And now that you have finished reading this post, head on over to see how she copes with her fear of renovating - by setting her poetic pen to paper (or tips to keys) in this week's post,  I Think, I Fuel, I Fume, I Write.