February 28, 2011

Chick Lit

We were cleaning out the basement this weekend - specifically my music room which somehow became the place for all of our crap we don't know what to do with - in an effort to turn it into something that resembles a home office as opposed to something on Hoarders. While doing so, we moved a lot of books, some of which Mia fell in love with. Her selections were a tad on the eclectic side. Among her favorites? Douglas Coupland's Polaroids From The Dead, Eeyore's Gloomy Little Instruction Book, a Hallmark-issued picture book of mothers and daughters, The Old Man And The Sea by Hemingway and The Communist Manifesto*.


We sat down and she read me the first page of The Old Man And The Sea which was pretty impressive to hear. But she kept coming back to The Communist Manifesto which she thought was hilarious especially after I told her it was one of the more boring books I've ever been educationally forced to read.

There are lots of times I - and probably most parents - feel like failures, like we've somehow let our kids down. Because parenting is stressful and parents aren't perfect. But seeing Mia walk around with these books, showing off her genuine interest in them, the mysteries they contain, pushing herself to read the words printed inside, made me feel like we'd really gotten something incredibly right.

We rock! Suck it Karl Marx.

* I know that politically motivated asshats will invariably chime in and tell me that I am somehow attempting to indoctrinate my daughter due to my left-leaning political tendencies. I would remind them that socialism (which I am often blamed for supporting) and communism are two very different things and that communism will at one point become a historical curiosity only attractive as a point of study due to its astonishing failure.

Posted by Chris at February 28, 2011 6:34 AM

If Mia's interested, I think I can dig up my old Durkheim and Weber books from my days as a Sociology major. (Hee.)

Posted by: Susan C. at February 28, 2011 8:28 AM

Love the picture!!

McCarthyism is alive and well except people really don't know what they are talking about, do they?? ;)

Posted by: Elizabeth at February 28, 2011 8:54 AM

Dude, if she's reading it in English, she's really just a slacker. ;)

Posted by: alektra at February 28, 2011 9:05 AM

One of my fondest memories is going to an old strip mall with my Dad; it had a KMart ( where the flashing blue lights always scared me ), a sub shop ( The Sandwich Factory; I miss it so ), and a used book store. It was one of those where the walls were stacked from floor to ceiling with paperbacks, and everywhere you looked was a new world, waiting to be unlocked. I remember the wonderful musty smell, and of looking at the covers to the Burroughs Mars series and not quite understanding them.

I'll be sad to see Borders go, but at the same time I hope it opens the window for small bookstores again. In the meantime, drag Mia to one ( one of the really dingy, 10cent bookstores ), give her 5 bucks, and turn her loose! :)

Posted by: metawizard2 at February 28, 2011 9:18 AM

Not only did I also read The Communist Manifesto in college, I had to write a paper in which I convinced a Capitalist that Communism was a superior system. I got an A. Not sure if I should be proud of that or not.

Posted by: COD at February 28, 2011 9:19 AM

//In the meantime, drag Mia to one ( one of the really dingy, 10cent bookstores ), give her 5 bucks, and turn her loose! :)//

You should really consider a road trip to the Green Valley Book Fair sometime. It's in Harrisonville? (By JMU). Used book stores from all over the eastern half of the US come there to buy up stock for their shelves. They only open 3 or 4 times a year - for a couple of weeks at a time. We used to go there and spend $150 on books whose retail value was well over $1500. It's a great day trip.

Posted by: COD at February 28, 2011 9:23 AM

Good for Mia. Reading opens so many doors.

My youngest son learned to read while our backs were turned. It was really exciting. I found out that he could read during a car ride - age 5- in Philadelphia. He looked at a billboard, and said, "hmm - Everybody reads the Philadelphia Inquirer."

I love kids.

Posted by: cassie-b at February 28, 2011 9:26 AM

Go Mia!

Posted by: Heather at February 28, 2011 10:26 AM

I love hearing about kids who like to read.

Posted by: Fraulein N at February 28, 2011 3:19 PM

Hooray for bookworms, large and small ;-)

Posted by: Heather at February 28, 2011 3:25 PM

My music room has exactly the same subtitle. Go figure.

Posted by: NG at February 28, 2011 5:33 PM

Love that the newest generation still understands the importance of picking up a good book. Don't get me wrong, I love my Kindle, but there is nothing as grounding as picking up a book and reading it.... Love that you are passing that joy onto Mia. BTW, the Manifesto is a great book!

Posted by: Krush at February 28, 2011 11:17 PM

That's awesome!

A kid in my class read Old Man and the Sea for a book report. Grade 3. I'll tell him that it's really a book for kids in Kindergarten.

I read it in Grade 10 - for English class. Am I really behind?

Posted by: Heather at March 1, 2011 9:30 AM

You have clearly done something right. Now write a book and tell us how. My four year old is still on Shel Silverstein.

I actually enjoy reading the Manifesto and laughed to read this today. My most recent blog post talks about Marx, too.

You may also have to write a book about how socialism and communism are not the same thing. People around here seem to not get that.

Posted by: seekingelevation at March 1, 2011 1:29 PM