Introducing Layla, Charles, and Jack–appearing as a trio here for the first time….

Hello, readers!  I know, I know, I promised recently to do more frequent posts.  But this week, there is other business (read:  fun) on the agenda.  I have my niece and two nephews staying with me for a few days, and we are busy, busy, busy, in direct proportion to the fact that they are young, young, young (and very vibrant).  They have been to the library here to use the computers, had a near miss with accidentally getting a finger caught in a rolled up car window, gone swimming, watched part of “The Barber of Seville,” read lots of books (they are big readers, all three), drawn fearsome monsters which make my blood run cold (the boys) and a loveable kitty (Layla), eaten ice cream and had good meals, and taken car trips to places they’ve not seen before.

They want me to tell you they are beautiful (Layla), awesome (Charles), and epic (Jack), though were they to approach you in person they would probably be their somewhat shy and polite social selves with strangers and say “Yes, please” and “No, thank you.”  At this exact moment, Layla is reading and eating an apple, the boys are rough-housing in the middle of the floor (as usual, says Layla), and in short, we are getting ready for breakfast and another day.  Such is the life of childhood in the summer for our three young adventurers.

Later this week, I will post (when I have a chance to draw breath and get my older bones and brain into action), but for now I am living vicariously a life I had long ago, when summer was endless and every small event a major happening.  Have a great few days, and try to find an opportunity to share some time with your young people in summer activities:  it always repays the effort put forth.  Shadowoperator


Filed under Other than literary days....

6 responses to “Introducing Layla, Charles, and Jack–appearing as a trio here for the first time….

  1. D. James Fortescue

    The joys of vibrant youth. What many of us lose from our endless days of desk jockeying =S

    Have fun with your pint-sized rellies.

    I like your niece’s name very much =)

    My mind’s eye sees the two rough-housers playing the soldier and pirate respectively. Have they seen Pirates of the Caribbean?


    • Hi, DJ. Thanks for the greetings. I’ve communicated your messages: Layla is very sensible of the compliment to her name, and the boys say yes, they’ve seen Pirates of the Caribbean, love it, and Jack says it’s one of his favorite movies. Charles loved it too, but he is in the middle of throwing a pillow, and can’t be distracted to respond with more than a sincere affirmative to the pirate/soldier question for the moment.


  2. Big readers this is pleasing, a future generation that has a passion for the printed word…I fear it is becoming a rare thing these days so this makes Ste happy. Endless fun summers, sounds like a book that needs writing to me…


    • Yes, they all read constantly, but have a parental rule that they must play outside at least an hour a day in order to be allowed to use the computer for half an hour. Two hours brings them an hour, etc. Funny how things change, isn’t it? It used to be that children were only allowed certain hours outside and were required to do lots of inside things to make up for it, these days it’s exactly the opposite. But they can read as much as they like without restriction, and I’m very proud of them for liking it so much. However, if anyone writes the books about “endless fun summers” for them, it will probably be they in their adulthoods looking back, because every time today I said or wrote anything about them on the computer, they either said “Don’t say that!” or “No! That’s not what I’m doing!” in the sheer face of the facts that that was exactly what they were doing! I’m just the recording aunt, so I suppose they thought I could be contradicted.


  3. My 13-year-old niece is coming this Friday for a week. I have prepared her guest bedroom which, of course, contains many books, among them “Jonathan Livingston Seagull” and “Gone with the Wind” (although I’m questioning if this is a bit too mature yet). Any other suggestion for her? And yes we will go to the library as well! One of my best childhood memories is spending endless hours there with mom – better to me than any store! Carry on, you great Aunt. Sounds like you have things well in hand! I will do a post as well about my niece’s visit. Thanks for the reminder of childhood. I will try to look at things today from a child’s perspective.


  4. Hi, Kathy. Thanks for the follow on Twitter (now we’re following each other around in circles!). When you asked about reads for kids, I figured I’d go straight to the horses’ mouths for info. Layla recommended “The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls” by Claire Legrand (it’s a little older than her 10-year-old status, so maybe it will be appropriate) as a mystery read. Charles Curtis (also 10) recommended the Skulduggery Pleasant series of books, which features a female heroine named Stephanie and also has a series of audiobooks which go along with it. It’s more of a both-sexes young adult fantasy series, with magic and mayhem, and has enchanted the whole family, as we read it to him and hear him read it and in fact we listened to one of the tapes on a trip in the car. If she’s in the “I like Gothics” crowd, you might try Horace Walpole’s “The Castle of Otranto,” and you can dig up some interesting info on his house Strawberry Hill on Wikipedia, which house was renovated back in the day to look like a Gothic medieval castle. Jack (the 12-year-old) was still asleep in lonely grandeur when I got this question, but in any case he’s mainly into pirates and superheroes and weaponry of a magical kind, so I’m not sure he would be able to make an adequate recommendation for a 13-year-old girl (unless she likes these same things, in which case he would probably recommend the Percy Jackson series, featuring encounters with the Greek gods). “Coraline” is a good read (actually, even the adults in my family have read this one, though I haven’t gotten to it yet). Ah ha! Jack just woke up and came up with a great suggestion! He suggests “To Kill a Mockingbird” and with its female heroine Scout in the foreground, I seriously second this recommendation. About the books you suggest, I think both might be appropriate for a mature 13-year-old, though you might need to do some gentle auntly editorializing on the subject of slavery and the cultural patterns thereto (I’ve fielded a few questions on similar subjects in my time when a kid of my acquaintance was reading “The Secret Garden” and needed to have British imperialism explained in brief) for “Gone With the Wind.” For “Jonathan Livingston Seagull,” the animal tale will enchant and carry an early teenager through the fiction, and the more serious symbolic aspects of the tale can be discussed at leisure over dinner or an ice cream treat (just a suggestion. Your 13-year-old may be a more independent reader and may have a few ideas of her own). I hope this helps. In general, I would go by things I’d read myself that were not too loaded with adult issues to be safe or useful. Happy hosting! I know the guest who comes to stay with you has a real treat in store. (Oh, one more story popped into my head! “Snow Falling on Cedars” might be acceptable if you yourself have read it and can field a few questions on the subject of Japanese internment camps during WW II. For another WW II special read, there’s also the perennial favorite “The Diary of Anne Frank.” (And with all these “heavy” suggestions, maybe a comic book or two featuring Wonder Woman or etc. or a comedy book might be a nice change of pace!).


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