Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Let Your Kids See You Read

I’ve been reading Erma Bombeck for so long, it’s hard to remember when I started. Probably Mom had a book or two of hers and home, and being the little reading bug that I was, I found them and read them. I still maintain the key secret to getting your kids to read is twofold:

1) Let them see you reading
2) Have so many books lying around the house they just give up and read what’s there.

Back to Bombeck.

The older I get, the more I notice.

This time around reading “The Grass is Always Greener Over the Septic Tank,” I noticed Ralph Corliss. He’s the guy played by Moe Greene in this movie version of the book (I didn’t even know the movie existed until today). He’s the guy who sees all the benchwarmers at the little league baseball game and gets them playing on his team.

The other coaches confront him, thus:

“Look,” said the second coach, “why don’t you let the boy go? What do you want with them? They’re not even winning.”

Ralph thought a minute then said, “It’s hard to explain, but kids go all through their lives learning how to win, but no one ever teaches them how to lose.”

"Let’s get out of here, Bert,” said the third coach.

"Wait a minute,” said Ralph.. “Just think about it. Most kids don’t know how to handle defeat. They fall apart. It’s important to know how to lose because you do a lot of it when you grow up. You have to have perspective – how to know what is important to lose and what isn’t important.”

"And that’s why you lose?”

"Oh, no. We lose because we’re too busy having a good time to play good ball.”

Having a good time trumps playing good ball. I know that grates. Sometimes it grates on me. Because I want to write a good book not necessarily have fun doing it. And maybe that’s what’s wrong with me. I have thusfar learned I can write a book, but I haven’t yet learned to edit one. The end is there and I “lost” because the book isn’t good. Maybe I forgot to have a good time writing it.

Are we too busy parenting that we forget to have fun while doing it? Sometimes it feels that way. Then we go on vacations, and it doesn’t feel that way any more. Or we spend time together at home. And we occasionally have a good time doing that.

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