<crash and crying coming from Griffin’s room>
“Were you playing on the rocking chair ottoman again?”
“You hurt yourself more on that than any other thing in your room!”
“Yeah. It’s a killer.”
Grandpa: So, Griffin, do you think you’d like to come by yourself to Grandma and Grandpa’s house sometime?
Griffin: No, I don’t think so.
Grandpa: Oh? Why not?
Griffin: Well, I need someone to help me cross the street.
Griffin and Andrew were looking at the photo book I put together on Shutterfly, which we received in the mail today:
Andrew: Griffin! Please don’t wrinkle the pages like that! It’s permanent, that wrecks the pictures, and we want to look at this book for the rest of our lives.
Griffin: Ok, well, when we’re dying, then we can just wrinkle it.
Showing Griffin what I’ve knit so far of my sweater, he says, “Well, make sure you take the needles out before you wear it!”
When Griffin was a baby and he would start to lose it, I would sing to him to try to calm him down. The song that seemed to work best was “If You’re Happy and You Know It.” I would start singing that song and he would stop his crying and start to smile. It worked nearly every time! I posited that since I was teaching kindergarten while he was in the womb, he had grown fond of the songs I played guitar to and sung to my students which naturally felt calming to him.
Unfortunately, now that Griffin is nearly four, the magic has worn off. However, it is now the magic song for Maggie! If she starts to lose it, we all break out the song and start clapping our hands, and next thing you know, she’s happy (fake it til you make it?)! I don’t know why it works for her, but it is the one thing that will stop her in her tracks. It has now become a participatory song for her, as well:
The best parts of this book were wild romps through American history, opening my eyes to things I didn’t know much about (Kit Carson, Clarence Darrow beyond the monkey trial, etc.). I loved Lepore’s focus on historiography—detailing the role historians have played in generating, transforming, and debunking fundamental American myths. Some of the chapters, especially early on, strayed a bit from my expectations, but most were spot on. The book picks up steam as it goes and I read the final chapters in a breathless rush; I turned the last page with the regret of finishing a gripping novel. No mean feat for a collection of historical essays!