“Husband and wife can and should go off on vacations alone and alone together. ...There was the sudden pleasure of having breakfast alone with the man one fell in love with. Here at the small table are only two people facing each other. How the table at home has grown! And how distracting it is, with four or five children, a telephone ringing in the hall, two or three school buses to catch, not to speak of the commuter’s train. How all this separates one from one’s husband and clogs up the pure relationship. But sitting at a table alone opposite each other, what is there to separate one? ... A simple enough pleasure, surely, to have breakfast alone with one’s husband, but how seldom people in the midst of life achieve it.” -Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift From the Sea 🐚🐚🐚 What a gift it was to read this book last week, right before a weekend trip with my husband to celebrate our anniversary. These words floated through my head as we enjoyed six uninterrupted meals together, sitting across from each other. But this is also probably the least of the gems in this short, simple, but profound little collection of essays. It’s hard for me to believe that Lindbergh wrote this in 1955, because the issues of modern life and motherhood she explores felt so incredibly current. It felt like she had reached into my own mind and explored the very issues and questions I find most pressing about my life right now. Lindbergh is a kindred spirit for sure. 🐚🐚🐚 Five stars, high recommend, to all the women in my life. #giftfromthesea #annemorrowlindbergh #motherhood #marriage #suchstuffbooks #reccomendedreading
I like to keep glass root beer bottles around for vases. My oldest asked if he could use one and I let him have it. I didn’t think of it again for a few days, until I was in need of a vase and I asked, Josh, where’s the root beer bottle you took? He hesitated for just a minute, as if afraid his answer would get him into trouble. He was right to be afraid, because the moment he said he’d broken the bottle and kept the pieces of glass under the deck in our backyard, I was livid. What were you thinking, I shouted! Why would you do that? Are there now shards of glass all over the patio where the kids play barefoot? You know I use those for vases, why would you purposely break one? Why be so destructive? 🌵🌵🌵 He cowered under my momentary rage, unable or unwilling to articulate a defense. But in considering possible answers to my own accusatory questions my brain snagged on the memory of a story time a few weeks earlier, when we’d read Roxaboxen. He’d been fascinated by the description of this empty lot, filled with boxes and rocks and desert weeds, the perfect ingredients for a children’s play world. He was particularly interested in the description of desert glass, empty and broken bottles one of the characters used to decorate her home. I paused, and asked more calmly, Josh, did you want the glass for your own Roxaboxen? Yes, he said. I sometimes play Roxaboxen in the backyard. 🌵🌵🌵 My anger melted away, and I even felt a little ashamed. My kid was not being willfully destructive, he was reliving a book. I helped him gather the pieces of glass in a Tupperware to keep and told him that nothing made me happier than to see him play that way. Roxaboxen is a story about imaginative play at its finest, the exact kind of play I want my children to experience, the kind of play most kids don’t get enough of these days. 🌵🌵🌵 I learned two lessons. The first is that good parenting is about realizing that sometimes kids do what seem like stupid things, but are actually the exact things I want them to do, if I can just see it with the right perspective. And second, that reading aloud is impacting my children just the way I want it to. Let them play.
Okay, I’ve talked about this before. I don’t love this graphic novel genre with what I’ll phrase as “immature humor.” And I was worried when my son picked up the first book in this Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, because I thought it would be too old for him (not the writing, just the middle school attitudes and content), but my son loved it. I can’t remember where we got the second book, but he devoured that one too. Read them over and over again. Then, when this whole quarantine situation began and our schools shut down and 2nd grade ended unexpectedly for him, my son decided to start writing his own journal, a la Diary of a Wimpy Kid. He tells funny stories and accompanies them with illustrations (see my stories for a few examples). This journal is an absolute treasure and I want to frame it and preserve it forever and it’s doubtful I’ll let him take it with him when he leaves home, I love it that much. He calls this Part 1, and I hope he keeps writing it forever and ever. And that’s when my opinion of the series changed. Any book that inspires my kid to write? Well, that’s an okay book by me! (And that’s why we got him the third one for Easter, which he has also already read multiple times.) 📕📗📘📙 I keep reminding myself that my child is allowed to have different reading tastes than me. He is allowed to enjoy books that I find stupid. Far more good comes from letting him read what he enjoys than trying to shut it down. We still have plenty of common ground (Harry Potter). And if I hadn’t let him read this series, he wouldn’t have started writing this journal. That would’ve been my loss indeed. 📕📗📘📙 #diaryofawimpykid #letthemread #kidbooks #kidlit #suchstuffbooks
My three-year-old’s current TV obsession is Octonauts, which I don’t mind. It’s mildly educational, the drama is never about catty social problems, and the characters have British accents... so it’s better than most. I’d never been too interested in the books because I assumed the TV show came first (and I try to stay far away from licensed book products.) Then one day I actually paid attention to the title screen, where it says the show is based on the books by Meomi. Well now, if the books came first, that changes everything! 🦑🐠🦐🐟🦞🐬🦀🐳🐋🦈 So I decided to get Little Miss one of the books for her birthday a few months back, and we all loved it! We loved it so much we got her another one for Easter, and we’ve already read it about 50 times. The illustrations are stunning, there is so much to look at, and the stories are somewhat educational (my one complaint is that, obviously, a lot of the characters and story and drawings are fantasy, and it’s not always easy, even for me, to pick out what parts are real). These books are great for a wide age range too. My three year old loves the bright illustrations and familiar characters, my five-year-old loves the details in the endpapers and each picture (it’s almost like a look-and-find book), and even my eight-year-old finds information to learn about (none of us had heard about living fossils before reading The Growing Goldfish, it was fascinating!). These are not necessarily easy reader books (if you’re looking for a simple story with simple text, this is not that, it’s more along the lines of Magic School Bus with lots of captions and textual features), but they are beautiful and fun books for all of us. High recommend from us! 🐙🐙🐙🐙🐙🐙🐙🐙🐙🐙 What about you? Does it matter to you if the books come before or after the screen version? 🐡🦑🐠🦐🐟🦞🐬🦀🐳🐋 #suchstuffbooks #picturebooks #octonauts