Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



Thursday, March 6, 2014

First Rule of Acquisition

And into the next generation . . .
Husby is a book lover.
Always has been.
I am, too, but not to his extent.
I remember, in our lean student days, him walking in the door, happily carrying yet another treasured acquisition. I told him if he dared to bring one more book into the house, I was going to have to boil it for supper.
He just laughed. Completely unrepentant.
Moving forward . . .
We’ve raised readers.
All six of our children love it.
I thought it was because of the hours their father and I spent with this happy pastime.
And it might be.
But last night, I was reminded of something Husby used to say when the kids were small. Something I dubbed his First Rule of Acquisition.
Let me tell you about it . . .
I’ve never been a shopper. Traipsing up and down aisles, looking at ‘stuff’ never appealed.
I’d rather stay with the ‘old and familiar and comfortable’ then look for something ‘new and exciting’.
It’s just me.
But Husby loves to shop. And is gracious enough to haul all-and-sundry around with him.
Yep. Inevitably, when there was shopping to do, we went in a herd.
Mom. Dad.
Six kids. All of whom are very greedy acquisitive observant.
They would see brightly, attractively-packaged toys and immediately want them.
If we’d received a nickel for every time we heard, “Mom? Can I have . . .?” We’d never have had to pay for our shopping.
Ever.
And that’s when their father, genius he, would tell them, “You can choose one toy.”
Their faces would brighten.
“Or two books!”
The thought process reflected in those faces as they turned it over in their minds was almost comical.
And, surprisingly, much of the time, they went for the books.
I thought they were simply cannily maximizing their procurements. (Ooh! Good sentence!)
I didn’t realize that their father was actually training them for a life-long love.
But he was.
And, fortunately, he did.

14 comments:

  1. Now that IS smart. I wish I'd thought of it when ours were little! Fortunately, they got the reading/book gene anyway. But still! I wish I'd thought of it!

    Good for husby :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thinks kids just catch that gene. Like a cold . . .

      Delete
  2. Brilliant. So brilliant it should be in every "how to raise a smart kid" pamphlet. Are there such things?

    ReplyDelete
  3. I used to get C's and D's in Free Reading until I discovered Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew, followed by the works of Henry G. Felson: Hot Rod, Street Rod, ad infinitum. My 6th Grade teacher hated Hardy Boys, etc. and wouldn't recognize any book reports on those books, thus giving a failure grade. I hated writing until 8th Grade when Marie Mueller (teacher) took a shine to my smart alec prose. I read almost everything there is to read now (including Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew and Henry G. Felson, all of which I'm actively collecting). And I love to write. Go figure; I don't thing we were pushed all that hard to read at home...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I used to see Mom reading all of the time. That might have influenced me. I remember getting my first Nancy Drew on my eighth birthday. It opened up a whole new world for me. Read them non-stop. Still do. Only they don't take me as long now... Miss Mueller encouraged my writing as well. But she always loved you best! :)

      Delete
  4. A wise man, indeed. We also raised voracious readers.

    I hate shopping, and I don't know why. My hubby loves to go shopping, but it is dangerous to let him go alone.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Let's not let our Husbys go shopping together . . .

      Delete
  5. Husby was/is a very clever man. We're book people too. Every birthday and Christmas our kids would get a book along with a toy. We all read a lot. Then I bought books for the grandchildren and still do for the youngest who is nearly ten. Now I'm buying books for the great nephew who is just 6 months old.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Soooo glad to hear it! Books make the best gifts. The gift that is so much more than a gift!

      Delete
  6. Very clever and caring Dad. I too love to read and have imparted that on my two children. Now I have a granddaughter who loves books as well. Thanks for sharing

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And into the next generation! So glad to hear it!

      Delete

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