Wednesday, February 27, 2013

What I Think About Re-Reading

I am an avid book re-reader.  This past summer marked the first summer since I was in 8th grade that I didn't read Pride and Prejudice.

There are many who would argue that there is no time to waste re-reading the same things.  That there are too many good books out there to re-read.  I agree, there are great books; however, some books are so great they warrant second or fifteenth reads.

We do not read books as they are, we read them as we are. 

As we change perspectives or circumstances or age, the way we interact with literature changes.  Think about it, did you read To Kill a Mockingbird in 9th grade and hate it only to re-read it as an adult and consider it one of the most profound works you've ever read?  Has one verse in the Bible meant something different to you during different seasons of life?

There's a reason for that.

Cognitive functions change.  Circumstances change. Times change.  You change.  The book stayed the same but you change and that changes everything about the book.

As a teenager, I read Pride and Prejudice as a love story.  When I got older I read it as a profound explanation on the bonds of sisterhood.  I've read it as a comedy, and as a tragedy.  I've read it as social commentary and as an exquisite example of language use.  I've read this book at least 15 different ways and each time was affected differently.  I re-read this book (and a few others) because I am not the same when I start--or end them.  

There are great books out there but if one book just sticks with you, do not feel ashamed to re-read it one, two, or thirty-two times.  Truly amazing literature works deserve rich exploration. 

While others might you think you are wasting time re-reading a book, the truth is, you are reading the same book differently--which is the same thing as reading a new book.

This is why I'm a re-reader.

What are you reading?


Monday, February 25, 2013

If You Can't Say Something Nice

I can write about this now.  Last week, I would have been far too emotional but now, I can talk about it.

On Sunday the 17th we went to Panera Bread for little Sunday family lunch.  We were munching away on the deliciousness when the boy stated he needed to potty.  Boy and hubs went to the bathroom.

When they came back, my hubs told me what happened.

Hubs were using side-by-side urinals (you're welcome for that visual) and chatting up a storm.  As they went to was their hands, some not-quite-40 year old remarked to my husband, "That was English, huh?"

My husband, who let's face it--is the grace in our relationship--gave the guy "the look," took our son's hand, and left the restroom.

When he recounted this story, my heart sank.

Does our 3 year old speak clearly?  No.  Is he having his speech tested?  Yes.  Is it anyone else's business?  No!!!

Here's the deal.  I'm sure that guy was trying to be funny but folks, parents are sensitive about their children and do NOT want anyone joking about perceived abilities or disabilities.  So when it comes to other people's kids, if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.

Really--it's okay.  You don't need a funny quip about everything.  Not everyone needs to know your every last thought.  Just because you have an opinion does not mean you need to share it with everyone  around.  It is better to look a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

I have spent over a week thinking about this guy and what I wish we could have said.  We could have said, "What do you mean by that?" or "Yes his speech is developing--apparently just like your social skills."

In the end, Matt took the higher road.  Though it would have been great to put that man in his place the truth is, no amount of rebuke causes a fool to change.  He would have taken anything we said and used it against us--like there was something wrong with us (and our three year old who doesn't talk like a college graduate) for telling him our son's abilities are none of his business.

The truth is sometimes you have to follow your own rules.  Matt, thank you for not saying anything when you wanted to say so much un-niceness.