Thursday, August 23, 2012

On My Honor

I just read this book for older children "On My Honor".  It's sort of horrifying but I did learn some things from it. 

Tony is the adventurous/reckless neighbor and one day he asks Joel to ride out to the state park to climb the bluffs.  Joel is afraid to climb the bluffs, so asks his dad for permission to ride out there, assuming that his dad won't let them ride their bikes out that far.  He doesn't tell his dad that Tony plans to climb the bluffs.  The dad says it's ok.

On the way there, Tony gets the idea that they should swim in the river instead.  Joel is a good swimmer so he's happy to do this, even though it is also a forbidden activity.  Tony isn't a good swimmer and ends up drowning. 

Joel is scared so he tries at first to pretend he doesn't know what's happened and goes on with the day for several hours.  After everything has come out, Joel blames his dad for letting them go, but also blames himself.  The dad offers these not comforting words "It's going to be a hard thing to live with, for both of us.  But there is nothing else to be done... we all made choices today, Joel.  You, me, Tony.  Tony's the only one who doesn't have to live with his choice."  And later after the sobbing.  "If there is a heaven, I'm sure Tony's gone there.  I can't imagine a heaven that could be closed to charming reckless boys."

I learn a lot from reading books for children.  As a parent, I see the child asking for permission to do a thing he doesn't want to do, and I hope I'll be able to say "no" when my children need me to.

I've also been reading "Quiet; the power of introverts in a world that can't stop talking."  Unfortunately it's a 14 day book from the library and I've only been able to absorb about 30 minutes of material in that time.  Something I was impressed with was the idea that we have moved from a society of Character (who you are privately) to a society of Personality (who others see you as).  It is very disturbing.

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