Father’s Day

I just bought the children’s book “Juliet Dove, Queen of Love” for my dad for Father’s Day. Yep, you heard me right: I bought a children’s book about a girl for my dad. It has all the earmarks of a family favorite: humor, insight, a comically quirky family, and little in-jokes we’d reference for years (like the fact that the poet father named his son Byron – we love that stuff).

Right next to the book on Amazon is a pre-Father’s Day ad for Johnnie Walker Blue Label that says, “The Scotch to give the guy who taught you about Scotch,” which is apropos because I’m giving a children’s book to the man who taught me to love children’s books.

My dad taught 4th-8th grades over a span of almost forty years. He would bring home the latest Madeleine L’Engle book, or wonderful old and new classics like Caddie Woodlawn or The Summer of My German Soldier, and we would all fight over who got to read them first. Whenever someone put a new book down, someone else would run off with it and hide in a corner, trying to read as much as possible before it got snatched away again. Or we’d just read them aloud together.

Of course, as soon as “Juliet Dove” arrives I’ll have to read it before giving it to my dad. In my family, it’s a tradition to read a book cover-to-cover before you give it to another family member as a gift. People are always shocked that we’d read someone else’s gift, but to not do so would be to indicate that it wasn’t worth reading anyway. So when Juliet Dove comes I’ll read it in one sitting, and then wrap it up and put a bow on it. Just keeping up with tradition…

  1. Nuria Coe says:

    Love it! I can’t wait to read it myself!

    And thanks for making me feel good about reading the books I gift ahead of time. I used to do it in hiding, opening them just so, trying not to crack the spine…too much. Letting people know that I needed to know it was worth reading before giving it to them makes perfect sense! It’s not like it’s a half-eaten box of chocolates, right?

  2. Amy Rubinate says:

    Haha, my mom tells a story about an elderly family member who passed along a box of chocolates with discreet holes in the bottom of each one…it definitely makes for a laugh!

  3. What a lovely post! My mom taught me about books. One of my favorite things for us to do together was go to the library… we’d split up and be lost in rows of books for hours!

    • Amy Rubinate says:

      Thanks for reading Rachel! I remember those lost hours in the library – one of my favorite places…

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