Let's Talk about Books

Reward at the end of the week!

I don’t know about you but come Friday, I’m spent. The kids are spent. We are all done from a full week at school. While we haven’t returned to full pre-covid times with the number of activities and birthday parties, etc. we are starting to safely do more. But truth be told after school on Friday we are ready for a shower, dinner, a book/movie and bed!! Oh and possible a glass of wine.

In case you are new here, we are avid readers in our house. We miss the library and own more books than most. I don’t say that in a bragging way like look at how many books we have, but more in a I’m a sucker for buying books that I know they will spend hours looking at and read over and over again. Some of this started with my time with Usborne Books & More and the boys having books from a young age, some of this is fueled by their passion to read and learn. And let’s be real, some of it is my joy in seeing how excited they get to get new books, snuggle up and read them with me. Some of this I believe dates back to my grandfather literally having a garage full of books. He would go to yard sales and buy a variety of books and read them all. He also had EVERY single National Geographic magazine. Back in the stone ages when I was doing a project on something he would always say “I have a book on that” and proceed to bull several from his collection for me to use of points of reference. So the long and short is we love books, my hubby too and we are all too happy to encourage the boys to read too.

Friday, May 7 was the end of a long week. It was raining and as we were heading home Barnes and Noble called to say the books I had ordered had come in. Bonus, we could pick them up and then head home. Think back to pre-covid times, I would take the boys to Barnes and Noble, they would play with the trains and we would get a book or two. Well, it’s been a long while since we went to Barnes and Noble thanks to Covid and most likely Amazon. I’m not knocking Amazon, they can get me things faster than anyone else. What I’m saying is that by not physically going to a book store for a long time I got the most unreal response from the boys when we walked in. Imagine a kid walking into a toy store and being told they could get anything they wanted. Their amazement at the number and variety of books was palpable. When Carter realized it was a bookstore and that he could keep the books he selected he was elated. Carter was interested in getting Dog Man books because his cousin loves them and he’s looked at them when we are there. Jackson, my fact loving, always learning kid opted for Weird but True books from National Geographic. The most amazing thing as we were getting ready to leave was that they wanted to make sure I had gotten a book too. I assured them that I had more than enough books at home, but appreciated to sentiment.

Fast forward to May 16. It’s the end of another long week, but added to the excitement I decided to run a few errands after school…with the boys! You know the important things…get gas (during a gas shortage), Target, get a gift certificate for an end of year gift for a teacher. I gave them the stores we were planning to hit and they were quiet. Then came the big question…”are we going to Barnes and Noble?” This was of course while they were trying to determine if they should ask for something at Target. While I hadn’t planned to go to Barnes and Noble again, how could I deprive them this end of the week “treat.” It’s possible I might have gone to Barnes and Noble on Mother’s Day also and gotten 5 more Dog Man books as Jackson had read the first one cover to cover twice. So they wanted the final four to complete the collection. Somehow, a Weird But True National Geographic food book also made it into the mix. I should note, that during the week Jackson had his first round of standardized tests. The whole nine yards of fill in the scantron, lots of pressure but doesn’t tell you anything kind of test. As the byproduct of two parents who take everything seriously (except this silly test), even though we didn’t put pressure on him, he put pressure on himself. He was spent from the week. It took so much out of him. So the fact, that he and I both knew some new books would do the trick for the weekend to get grounded and regroup, how could we go wrong.

Shocker, as soon as we got into the car the boys were both deep into the books. Quick showers and then we were all snuggled up, each with our own book on the couch. I took pause. At each stage of life our role as a parent changes a little bit, right? They don’t need us quite as much for things as they get a little bit older, but they still need us- just differently and need us to set the right example. I’m going to hold onto this Friday afternoon/evening tradition for as long as possible.