It takes me a while to switch gears from work to summer vacation. This year, the transition has gone relatively smoother in comparison to past summers when the transition was more like rocket re-entry into the atmosphere. When I shared that with the husband, he agreed and said that usually he’s the one who gets burned. He’s grateful this year’s transition is less bumpy!
One of the signals that I’ve made the switch is that I’m relaxed and ready to read. . . or reading makes me relaxed. Either way, I finished a book on Thursday that I checked out of the library on Monday and started reading on Tuesday—Gummi Bears Should Not Be Organic: And Other Opinions I Can’t Back Up With Facts by Stefanie Wilder-Taylor. The book is a parenting anti-advice book although, advice is given with a great sense of humor. I shared a few sections with the boy. . . like the list of reasons children won’t go to bed and Stefanie’s suggestion for what to do with all the stuffed animals kids collect. He was amazed that the book matched his life; our life. I didn’t go to the library specifically searching for this book. It sort of grabbed me and when I went to check it out the librarian—who is also one of our neighbors—said the book made her laugh out loud. (Me, too, by the way.) The book got me thinking. . .
While Stefanie made no connections to an earlier book about kids and parents—It Takes A Village: And Other Life Lessons Children Teach Us by Hillary Rodham Clinton, I did while I was reading. It was a combination of the book and life events that are surrounding our family right now. I realized that raising the boy does take a village and he has many great people in his village! Friends, family, his teachers, Scout leaders, theater directors, coaches. . . all of these fantastic people are aiding in the raising of our son. I also realized that I am a part of other children’s villages—and not just as an educator—but as a parent participating in Scouts and other activities. I was relaxing at the local pool the other day and a boy from Scouts made sure he talked to me “Remember me, I’m in Scouts.” Yes, I did and made sure I said hello. I am not a troop leader—there are great leaders in the troop—but after being at some meetings, parent nights, and other events, I have become a part of their villages.
We know parenting isn’t easy. . . even with all the guide books and internet advice and Stefanie’s book allowed for a fresh perspective and some laughter. I wanted to Xerox passages for some people. . . but instead, dropped the book in the return box.
Now that I’m in full summer vacation mode, I wonder what’s next. A day at the pool? Fireworks and sparklers? Anything’s possible, especially when I’ve got all this parenting back-up!