Saturday, April 27, 2013

a spring + summer reading list

I've been on a bit of a reading binge lately. I finished Persepolis last weekend. My younger (and trendier) sister frequently reads graphic novels, and whenever she'd tell me she was reading a graphic novel, I'd nod and smile, thinking "That is the nerdiest thing ever, Mic." Persepolis was good, though, really good. I'm the slowest reader ever, and I started reading it on a Thursday night and finished it on a Saturday morning. (Let's be honest, I typically fall asleep within 20 minutes of opening my book when I try to read at night.) So, if you're looking for a quick read (or are looking to break into the world of graphic novels like myself), Persepolis is a great pick.

And, since Liam frantically grabbed every library book on our shelf in an attempt to delay going to bed last night, we're going to head to the library first thing this morning to grab a few more. We're also going to try to grab Argo since my last few attempts have been futile, including a couple of Saturdays ago when I nearly wrestled it out of the hands of a sixty year old man, but I digress. 

For Liam we're going to get The Pinkish, Purplish, Bluish Egg. I first read about Bill Peet on Bridget's blog. It turns out The Pinkish, Purplish, Bluish Egg is the only Bill Peet book our library owns, so we're going to check that out while I search for Kermit the Hermit online. Since Liam's a big fan of bikes and David Shannon, we're going to try to get Duck on a Bike. We'll also try to grab Diary of a Worm (from the author of Click, Clack, Moo: Cows that Type!) and The Pout Pout Fish

I currently have Divergent on hold at the library (they'll hold books but not movies). The rest of my list for this summer includes: Traveling Mercies (which I've been wanting to read since I first read Operating Instructions), The Power of Play, and Loving Frank (which, by the way, I purchased at the library book sale for 50 cents). 

What about you? Have you read any great books (or graphic novels lately)? Anything to add to my list? 

Monday, April 22, 2013

try again

after a sudden sleet storm hit us while we were out on a walk Saturday

A few weeks ago, I overheard Craig testing Liam's color knowledge with a few of Liam's trains. Each time Craig held up a train, Liam would shout "green" since green is his favorite color and he loves all things green. And each time the engine was yellow or blue or red, Craig would respond, "try again." Not "no," not "not quite," but "try again."

For a girl whose whole life has revolved around getting the right answer the first time, who's college professor had to assure her that "it was a strong B" when she earned a B in an honors literature course after taking the final with Influenza A, this is a concept I have yet to learn.

Yet, it's such an important concept to understand. I hope Liam remembers these moments. I hope he learns early that it's okay to challenge yourself, it's okay to get the answer wrong, and in those moments, pick yourself up and try again.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


A few days ago, I stumbled upon this post on the New York Times. At first, I was like, "Oh great, some parenting advice from a non-parent." ::eyeroll:: To be fair, Bruni spent a little too much time talking about "all of the choices" we give our kids. What he probably doesn't understand is that either you're the parent that gives a few too many choices/chances or you're the parent rushing through Target with a crying kid because you won't let him open the green juice he picked out until after you paid and everybody's looking at you like "Why can't she control her kid?" Let's be honest, I've been both of those, and neither one is fun.

In spite of my (probably excessive) eyerolling, I continued reading, and I couldn't help but think that Bruni had a point when he said, "So parents: cut yourselves some slack. Take a deep breath. No one false step or one missed call is going to consign your children to an entirely different future. Make sure that they know they’re loved. Make sure that they know their place. And make peace with the fact that you don’t hold all or even most of the cards. There may be a frustrating sense of helplessness in that realization. But there’s a mercy, too. "

Last night, I discovered that Craig has been sneaking Liam Pop Tarts. A few weeks ago, we had a little Pop Tart incident at daycare, and Craig knew I was upset, which is probably why he had been hiding the box of Pop Tarts in his vehicle. When I asked him about it, he said, "What? He likes Pop Tarts. We couldn't leave the store without them. And, besides, you're kind of a hypocrite. I know you like Pop Tarts." True story.

The thing is, as parents, I think we always want better for our kids than we had before them. Honestly, I had a pretty good childhood, so there's not a lot to be changed. Sure, I like Pop Tarts, and one of my favorite activities as a kid was flipping quarters (basically gambling) for pops at the feed store near my house. I turned out alright, though (I think). And, I'm sure Liam will, too.