A Father’s Legacy

One of the gifts my sister gave me for Christmas was a book called A Father’s Legacy: Your Life Story in Your Own Words. It is a book filled with thought-provoking questions and space for the reader to respond to them. The idea here is that you fill out the book and years later your kids (and possibly grandkids) will be able to look back at what you’ve written and get some idea of what kind of a person you were.

I’m not an overly sentimental type of person, but for some reason this appealed to me. Would I read something like this that MY father had written? You’re darn right I would, and I’d thoroughly enjoy it. So while I (and possibly most of you) think my life is pretty darn ordinary, my kids might someday be fascinated by the outstanding ordinariness of my life enough to want to read about it.

The other thing that popped into my mind as I flipped through the book was that this might just make for good blog-fodder. For somebody who struggles with topics for their blog, this might be just the thing. I’m not sure how much personal information I want to post here (too late?), but I might just select a topic or two and post about it here. So some day Simon can just come to my site, select the “legacy” tag, and read all about his dad.

Trimming the Fat at FCPLs

I read this article on Washingtonpost.com about the Fairfax County public libraries, their limited shelf space, and the sacrifices that they must make in terms of which books they keep. It’s a pretty interesting read, and while I don’t feel strongly about it one way or the other, I can see how some people would.

How do you feel about a public library purging older, sometimes “classic” books/authors from their collection to make room for more popular items?

A Cherished Bedtime Routine

Kate and I take turns putting Simon down for bed at night. The system isn’t perfect, and there are often consecutive nights where one or the other of us will have to pick up the slack for the other due to athletic events, meetings, or other commitments. I often grumble about putting Simon to bed. And it is absolutely uncalled for, because most of the time I LOVE putting him down for the night.

We’ve been reading to Simon for a long time. It’s only within the past 2 or 3 months that I think he has started to put together the images on the page with the sounds coming out of our mouths. But recently he showed both of us that he has definitely made the connection.

Bee Bo!Simon has a series of books that we read every night. If you try to introduce a new book into the routine, he is fidgety and generally unpleasant. But if we stick to what we know, he sits quiet and attentive and once we’re done he’s ready to go to sleep. God bless Sandra Boyton. I’ve read three of her books so often I can recite them word for word.

Simon has recently added a new fun trick to our bedtime routine. He’s turning pages. I can ask him to turn the page, and he will! Even better, in Boynton’s Belly Button Book there is a page on which a little ditty is sung. When we get to that page, I sing the little ditty that the hippopotami in the book sing, to a tune that I made up. Several nights ago, as I got to that page, Simon turned his head and looked up expectantly at me with his big blue eyes. I sang the song, and he grinned like a fool.

It’s what happened next that really floored me. I flipped the page to read the last page of the book, and he REACHED OUT AND FLIPPED IT BACK. And then looked at me with those expectant puppy dog eyes. Part of me realized that this could eventually transform into bedtime procrastination. A simple request for a song could next be a “glass of water,” or “another story,” and then “5 MORE MINUTES!!!” Right now he’s not procrastinating as much as he is just wanting to enjoy his book.

So really, what else could I do but sing?

Book Discussion Group – Vote for the August Book!

Voting has opened for the Book Discussion Group’s August book. Vote early. I’ll close voting on Monday. Jackie and Lou Ann provided this month’s selection. The choices this month are:

There’s not nearly enough time.

First of all, the Book Club has decided on our next book. It will be Nickel & Dimed, by Barbara Ehrenreich. That being said, I’m a bit frustrated. I’m currently reading two books, with a third in the wings (Life of Pi), and now a fourth for the Book Club. I think I might have a problem.

It seems like there’s just not enough hours in the day. Leaving the necessary items (work, caring for Simon, chores, etc.) out of the picture, my problem is that I have too many leisure interests that I would like to pursue. Reading books and blogs, watching movies, playing games, getting exercise, playing the woefully neglected guitar, and learning to play the recently acquired ukulele – the list goes on and on. I guess that it’s really a matter of prioritization.

Actually, that’s not even really true. I’m lazy at heart. So when it could be a matter of prioritization, it’s really more a matter of convenience. Why put forth the effort to get up off my butt when I can thoroughly enjoy myself sitting in front of the computer or television? Or pick up the book that is just an arms-length away? So it seems that the activities that I pick are the ones requiring the least effort. That’s not true across the board, but it is certainly a trend that I need to work on. Does anybody else have this problem? Or am I alone in my leisure-of-convenience mentality?