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Sunday, November 25, 2012

Book Smart

I read somewhere that you can tell a lot about a person by examining their bookshelf and the titles contained therein.  If someone judged who I was based on the reading material in my house they might come away with a belief I have several personalities to deal with on a daily basis. 

To view my shelves would leave you believing that I....

Have no idea what faith I am.  I'm a Christian and yes, I have books about other religions.  I find the whole topic interesting and studying other belief systems has only served to fortify my own faith.  I feel I owe it to my children to understand what other people believe, why they believe it and how it differs from their parents' faith. 

Like poetry.  Which I do, but I don't read it.  I just feel like it needs to be on shelves for the children because I am positive that one day one of them will become enamoured with the rhymthic beauty of poetry as I was as a young adult and I certainly don't want them Googling "Poetry..."  I'd rather start them off with some Dickinson rather than explaining about the man from Venus, if you catch my drift.

Do real art with my children.  Please.  Paper mache with children isn't something I'll do willingly until I get to purgatory and need to do some sort of penacne for something I've done horribly wrong on this side of heaven.  My version of art with the children is a pack of coloring implements and some paper, but I will say children naturally take themselves through the gamut of what art can offer.  Just ask a five year old to draw her Momma and you've got a perfect replica of a Picasso to put in her portfolio.  Toddlers have a natural ability when it comes to impressionism.  We've got art covered without the books (Thanks Crayola!)

I'm a Martha Stewart Fan.  Not really.  I kind of think she might be alien, but the woman can fold a fitted sheet and has an excellent book to pass this handy bit of knowledge on to the mere mortals and it will never leave my bookshelf.  When I need to know how to polish silver or have a hankering for an entirely organized laundry area, that book has it covered. 

That I'm a mothering schizophrenic.  Ha!! If ever a book was written on parenting, I've either read it, plan to read it or have saved a space on my bookshelf to read again.  This is a topic I am absolutely facsinated with and as such have ensured through procreation that I will always get to practice the methods I am studying so intensely.  I am unconcerned that all the books on parenting completelty contradict each other.  There is always something to learn when it comes to raising little humans.  Even if the advice in the book is a total 180 from my beliefs, I will take the time to study it.  Knowing what NOT to do is just as handy as knowing what to do and even the worst parenting books can offer a bit of handy information (Oh wow...safety pinning socks together...what a cool idea!)

That I build stuff.  Yeah, don't think so.  But I have a husband that just LOVES me bookmarking projects that HE wants to do ;)  Because he has so much time on his hands and wouldn't know what to do with himself if he wasn't building a custom bathroom vanity or sketching out a treehouse.  I'd be totally willing to do some of this handy work myself, but apparently I cannot be trusted with the power tools.  He came to this conclusion shortly after I ended up in the ER for stitches after scissors attacked me.  No, really, they did.

That I can do super duper upper level math.  Bwhahahaha..  Again, those are Jamie's books.  I'd be lost on this earth without a calculator and I'll even admit that sometimes when my knitting configurations stump me, I'll call on The Man to help me out.  I hate numbers.  I think my love of letters sort of took up the brain space for numbers.  It's all good.  God knew what he was doing when he put us together.  I wrote his college papers, he figures out how many stitches I need to increase in a self-made pattern. It works.

I'm a weird food cultist.  Yup.  My bookshelf has many titles about nutrition and food and cooking.  Maybe I should round out this collection by adding some physical fitness type reading material. You know "Okay, so now you know how to eat to fuel your body, so get off your ass and do something with all those calories."  Something kind of like that.

I've also got the random assortment of books that provide proof I homeschool.  All homeschooling families have these.  Encyclopedias, dictionaries, science project books, what your child should know when so you don't feel like a complete failure and so on and so forth.  Which really, are all unneccessary with the advent of Google, but saying to someone unfamiliar with homeschooling "Oh we just Google that" isn't as impressive as a whole bookshelf of "Look we REALLY homeschool" books.  We have been known (dude, I know you all do it, so don't even try to pretend you dont') to keep all sorts of books we bought with the best intentions, just to feel better about what we aren't doing.  Besides, it's also good for our souls to know the hundreds and billions of dollars we spent on those books isn't going to waste....they make for great bookshelf decorations, if nothing else ;)

My goal in all this is to produce readers out of my children.  To teach them that books are friends and that they better get really good at reading because when the end of the world comes and there are no lights and no televisions or microwaves or YouTube, they are going to be really darn bored if they haven't become one with reading.  In my fantasy world, this rant has my children scrambling to the bookshelf, eagerly selecting an exciting title to curl up with, but in reality all I get is "Oh yeah!!!! I bet the new episode of Walking Dead on on Vudu right now...!! Yay!!"

(Which is one title I suggest steering clear of.  I won't admit to getting the graphic novels for my children after seeing their love for the show, but I will say I DO know someone who did this and thankfully my, uhm, friend's husband, wanted to read them first, and without a word my, I mean my FRIEND'S husband walked over to her, flipped open the book and asked her to read the page.  NOT KID FRIENDLY.  Shoot, not even adult friendly if you have any class about yourself.  Wow, really, really bad language.....)



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