Sunday, November 09, 2008

wordstock part 2: strippers and halloween candy

I had a dilemma: Either take the kids to the Wordstock Festival with me - after our pilgrimage to IKEA with my Mom and Grandma - and have them sit through an author reading or let them miss out on the whole thing, staying home with Greg, watching football.

Because, in this instance, I could have left them at home.

But I wanted them to wonder around and see the hundreds of people, swarming tables full of books, wearing t-shirts and pens, admonishing us to write, and read.

I wanted them to pick up a water bottle and take home a Powell's book bag.

And there's no denying my belief that if I just expose them to this writer's life, it will stick. That they will find the power in words, the comfort in writing.

So, they sat with their own books in hand and a stash of leftover Halloween candy, as Andre Dubus III started to read from his new book, The Garden of Last Days.

Dubus, signing books after his reading. I'm kicking myself for missing out on his writing workshop yesterday. I always have regrets, post-Wordstock. (I missed Jane Hamilton last year. She's one of my favorites.)

Would I have changed my plans if I knew that Dubus would be reading from the point of view of a stripper, and a would-be terrorist?

I don't think so. I struggle with what is appropriate for my kids and I believe as parents we have to screen what our kids are exposed to - on TV, in our communities - even miscommunication on the playground.

(Zack came home with some really *interesting* ideas about the candidates in last week's election. Oh the crazy!)

I err on the side of communication. Whether we are discussing homeless Veterans at a parade, or gay marriage, or if my kids were to bring up what they heard at the reading, although they didn't seem to be paying attention, frankly - these were all things we talked about over just this past weekend - I delight in the conversation and the way it makes them stretch their hearts and their minds.

Some mornings, I want to wrap my sweet babes in bubble wrap and call it good.

Stick my head in the sand.

My kids are bombarded with information every day.

My peace of mind comes from walking beside them, ready to listen, while they tromp through the leaves on a rainy fall afternoon, book bags slung over their shoulders.

Zack whistles as we go and Lexi stops talking about bedspreads for once, and brings up writing her own blog.

Mission feels accomplished. At least for today.


wendy said...

I just love that. I wish I'd taken myself and a kid or 2 to Wordstock! And if you ever feel like your kids have been communicated with too much for the *other* children, just bring 'em on over to our house. :)

Christi said...

You are such a great mom.

Lisa Milton said...

I'm so glad they came along.

They came home abuzz over books and getting free pencils and begging for silly writing t-shirts.

I once took them to a reading - while Greg was out of town - and the author swore up a storm.

My kids thought it was very exciting, indeed. :)

Amy the Mom said...

Boy, this struck a chord after a weekend struggling to help my sophomore compose an essay. I kept wondering where I can take him and what I can expose him to in order to hone his writing skills. My only idea was to encourage more reading.

Kimberly said...

Oh the envy.

And what an amazing mother you are.

lapoflux said...

They are lucky little ones.

I really hear you on the bubble wrap though. Man, wouldn't it be so much easier? They know too much. too young.

Jennifer H said...

I love that you took them with you, and that they absorbed what you wanted them to...wonderful.

Shana said...

You always have the best field trips.

flutter said...

SO very accomplished

Karen said...

The world is blessed by your presence. Thank you for being such a wonderful, mom, human, and spiritual being. It is comforting to know the next generation is benefiting from your purity.

MamaGeek @ Works For Us said...

You? Rocketh.

I get this on every level.

stephanie (bad mom) said...

Our kids will be the best read (and possibly foulest mouthed) in school. I'm honored to be in your parenting presence :D

Fantastic Forrest said...

Going back into your archives and I found this. I was there too, with the Amazing Children.

I agree with everything your commenters have said (although I have to differ with Stephanie's contention that her and your kids will be the foulest-mouthed; my children have achieved that already and the depth to which the Girl Child has sunk is not really anything anyone else will ever reach).

It is a wonderful place to bring a child. And the cost of inappropriate vocabulary is a small price to pay for the treasures they gain. I'm not talking about the free pencils, either.