28 June 2011

There and Back

We are back from our vacation (read Matt's blog to find out about our adventures) and settled into our normal lives again, as normal as they get in the summer. Matt is back at work, I am finishing up some things at school, and Isaac is in camp. We have been to church, spent time with friends, and played ultimate frisbee. This week will bring time to go see movies, watching a friend's kids play softball, visits to the pool, and a trip to the library. I love the pace of summer.

I mentioned that I had bought some books to load on my Nook for Isaac before we left for our trip. It was so convenient to carry one device rather than two or three books for myself and a stack for him. And I surprised myself by actually reading every book to him that I downloaded (he actually read a couple of them to me). Typically we go on a trip and I have every intention of making sure Isaac reads while we are traveling, but we are always too busy or too tired to take the time. That was a sign for me that this was a really good vacation -- there was enough down time to have the energy to do something normal.

Some of the books I downloaded were "Read to Me" books. One was Tammi Sauer's Cowboy Camp. There was a family in the condo next door to us while we were away who had two boys around Isaac's age, so many afternoons Isaac would hang out on the porch and play. One of those times Isaac and the youngest neighbor listened to Cowboy Camp on the Nook. I can't really say if the book was any good, though the boys said they enjoyed it. What I loved was that this piece of technology, which for so long I scoffed at, was bringing these two kids together. There were other times that they watched cartoons on our portable DVD player, or played games on the neighbors' laptop, but this one time they listened to a book. It was a really cool moment, and the fact that Matt and I had some time to relax while it was happening was pretty good, too.

One disclaimer about kid's books on the Nook -- the pictures do look great. But someone said to me once it was the same as reading a book. It's not. And nothing for me will ever replace the look and feel of being able to explore the details of the pictures on paper and turn the pages back and forth. But it is a very good substitute. And I am willing to say that it has its place (my luggage was certainly lighter, which when you are packing for three people for 7 days, is a good thing). But the Nook will not be taking part in our bedtime ritual, at least not any time soon.

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