I wrote about giving my children Summer Book Bags several years ago, and rereading that post of course brought all those changes to mind that four short years make in a child’s life. Now my baby is teetering on the edge of adult hood, one child is working out of state all summer, and one has graduated and has his own business. Big sigh. But I still have one book bag to get ready, plenty of graduation gifts, and an isolated son without television or cell service, so it is time to get busy!
As I wrote before, Summer Book Bags are my traditional gift to my kids as they finish the school year. I tried to mark the transition, celebrate their perseverance and hard work, acknowledge their new interests and ensure they had books available that they just might read, and frequently did. Finally, as I wrote four years ago, I give my kids books as a way to celebrate their hard work through the year, but also acknowledge that learning is really their own responsibility, in or out of school. My daughter included “you made me love reading” as one of her appreciation notes for Mother’s Day (in Spanish, so I’m not sure if that “made” was a vocabulary limitation or as harsh as it sounds, but there it is!), so I think the availability of books worked at some level! I always cringe a little bit when parents interrogate their children as to whether they will really read this $1.50 book before they up and buy it. Maybe I gave my kids too many books, but really, when you can fill a bag with books under $4 each, and compare it to the price of other treats and entertainments, and expand their little minds at the same time…..well really, are there too many books?
Our shopping bags will make a perfect container for your family’s book bags, and we are happy to help fill them. We can help meet most any budget, lots of interest areas, and will even tie on a bow if you would like. Or, go sign up for the Library’s Summer Reading Program as a tradition with your child, or give a gift certificate if you would rather they pick their own books. I won’t rant here about the value of reading, and the excesses of screen time, blah, blah, but trust me as a parent of nearly all adult children who I’m pretty proud of, “making” them love reading is not a bad thing. And if they are not reading, send them outside!
Our kids face so many unknowns, and conditions we have not yet seen in the world. But the collective wisdom of thousands of years of humanity is still contained in books, and inspiration, knowledge, empathy, and humor can still be found inside them. Surely that will help them navigate, right?
Happy summer friends.