Tuesday, December 25th, 2001

To celebrate Christmas this year, I hung the mid watch from the night before, if you can call staying awake an hour or so longer than usual “hanging the mid.” Most people call that “wussing out,” though. I came through the front door at about seven in the morning to find Barb and Sean still asleep! But Tim was wide awake and waiting for me at the top of the stairs. We woke up the sleepyheads and trooped down to the living room to see what Santa had brought us. It was a remarkably relaxed Christmas morning, which didn’t help me stay awake. I hung on long enough to see everybody open their presents; in some cases, I saw people open the same present twice when my eyes were crossing. Finally, when I couldn’t focus at all, I plodded upstairs and crawled into bed.

The boys got bicycles they couldn’t go out and ride, although I’m pretty sure Tim would’ve tried if we’d let him. Might’ve been pretty comical.

They each got plenty of books, too. I mentioned to somebody at work that the boys were getting lots of books, and she screwed up her face and said something like, “Books? How do you get them to read books?” Pretty simple, really, and here’s the secret in case you want to pass it along: You read to them every day when they’re young, starting as soon as they can hear your voice, and you teach them to read as soon as they show any kind of aptitude for it. You spend all your lunch money and pocket change on books, and keep them stacked everywhere in the house. You read good books whenever you can, and never discourage them from reading, even when they pick up the book you’re trying to finish. I can’t stop my kids from reading books, and we’ve never in my memory hesitated from buying books because we couldn’t afford it; if credit is good for anything, it’s got to be good for buying books you can’t pay for yet.

Speaking of which, I’d forgotten that being in the military is good for 10% off all the books in the BX book store. Yes!

[11/25/14: “Hanging a mid:” When we worked mid watches in my younger years, we would sometimes “hang” the last mid by staying awake all day, then go to bed at a normal time that evening. In theory, this would reset our biological clocks. In practice, we did it mostly as an excuse to hang out together at the club all day and drink beer.]

buy books | 9:08 pm CDT
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