Friday, October 23, 2009

Fatherhood Friday! - Read? Who has time to Read?

Two Fatherhood Friday's in a row, how about that? I bet you all thought my promise to return was an empty one. Have no fear, I still have much to say...I missed the theme of last week's Fatherhood Friday, but that's ok but this week's theme is one I can really get behind. Books.

I am a tech guy by profession, but an English major by degree so I can really enjoy a good book once in a while. In our house, books have been a big part of the days that lead up to the birth of our daughter, as well as, the days following.

Prior to the birth of our daughter, my wife and I read Paul Reiser's Babyhood. It was a pretty amusing take on becoming a parent. It made the whole process seem fun, and funny. Now that I have a little one at home, I've come to realize that in the moment these funny stories don't seem so funny, especially when you're running on 20 minutes of sleep for the day. Still, the book made us both laugh and helped ease our anxiety leading up to the due date.

During the few weeks after our daughter was born, you know those nights when you're up every 1 1/2 to 2 hours, we had a very set routine. I would change the baby and hand her off to momma to be fed. Then I'd grab the book off the nightstand and read aloud for the next 20 or so minutes. This book was Breaking Back by professional tennis player James Blake. I can't in good conscience say the book was terrific, but it got us through those early middle of the night feedings, and we did learn some things about professional tennis that we didn't already know. We're huge tennis fans, and never miss a televised tournament so it was interesting to get a peak at what happens before some of these players hits the courts for their matches.

In Thoreau's Walden, the author took some time to go into the woods and live deliberately. Now, like Thoreau, I will also do something deliberately. No, I won't be abandoning my family to live in the woods, I've decide to take this year and read deliberately. So, all of those books I didn't give a fair shake in college are coming back, the first is Moby Dick.

I realized that with parenting it is important to have something for you. You need to hold on to a little bit of yourself otherwise you'll get lost in all the poop and drool. Sure, I don't have as much time to read as I once did, and Moby Dick is taking a lot longer than I thought, but all that time I spend NOT reading I'm spending with my family and that is even more rewarding.

I'll never stop reading, I may slow down a bit, but I'll never stop.


Lauren Hale said...

As a fellow English major, I so get you about not having given certain books a fair shake in college. I made the mistake of taking three courses focused on different types of novels one quarter. 16 novels in 9 weeks is rough. I'm still barely recovered and that was 9 years ago. (Sad, I know)

As a tech guy, you may find this website a good way to combine the two:

I started Moby Dick through there myself not too long ago.

Enjoy your deliberate reading and family time!


Will Holmes said... Even more so as the Little Man is becoming a major second grade reader. Good advice to go back to the classics. Thanks.

Mocha Dad said...

I'm also an English major. I think I read to much. I never finish books because I always find new books to read. There is a tower of books stacked beside my bed that I need to finish reading.

Keith Wilcox said...

I was a Spanish major so I too miss reading. However I've found a good solution. Reading to your kids makes up for a lot of the time I would normally have read to myself. I make sure to pick out the Newbery award books and read those. Just as quality literature as any adult award winning book except the subject matter is kids. Kids get a good story and your brain gets stimulated. Two birds, one stone :-)

surprised mom said...

A fellow English major! Yes! There are so many books in my house (I married a fellow English major) that I could start my own library. Feel free to come on over if you want to borrow one.