Passing on Books


I am a huge fan of books, and children’s books in particular. We have hundreds of books and, well, I’m not sorry. But there comes a time when the right thing to do is to say good-bye.

Last week we got to attend a birthday party for a very special girl, Julia. She turned 3 years old, and the boys and I decided to give her some of our beloved-but-outgrown board books (Brown Bear, Brown Bear, I Love You Little One, and others). To her, each new book was an undiscovered treasure. To us, each one was an old friend moving on, shipping off for new adventures. It was a happy parting of ways, and we know that those books will continue to be loved and used, read and reread over the next several or many years.

Today I sent away a big stack of story books to grandma’s house. My mother has been saying that Asher (6) tends to choose the same baby books at her house, whereas here at home he craves chapter books that we can really get into and enjoy night after night. It’s time for those too-familiar baby books to go, and for new books to be on offer at grandma’s house. Variety is good! I sent over some fairy tale collections and story anthologies, like Seuss and others, which can be read in one bedtime reading session. (And it’s a win for me, too, because I think I cannot read another Seuss story in my life. Seriously. I will die.)

A few months ago we gave cousin Baby Jack a bunch of baby books. Books that my sons loved reading daily (Dig, Dig, Digging!, The Big Red Barn) are staying in the family and that makes us very happy. I’m hoping sometime I’ll get to see Lucas or Asher reading those books to Jack.

I am by no means a Simplicity Hero. We still have plenty of sentimental books in our collection (the photo above shows books we aren’t yet ready to part with). But it does feel good to purge a little because it makes room for new and exciting adventures: Percy Jackson, Harry Potter, Norse myths, Septimus Heap, Holes, and so many classics (Robin Hood, Zorro, Wizard of Oz, Robinson Crusoe, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Call of the Wild, The Trumpet of the Swan, Ender’s Game. The possibilities are endless, stretching before us in a river of glorious stories.

What’s on your summer reading list? Any kids’ books?

Kind Saint Nicholas


Yesterday was the feast of Saint Nicholas and we marked the holiday in our usual small ways. The boys polished their shoes and put them out near our door. We also left out some hay for the saint’s donkey to eat. (Lucas left a note for Nicholas, asking for oranges, a taser gun, and a katana; the kid can dream big!)

Polishing boots for St. Nicholas Day Eve of St. Nicholas Day


I updated our nature table a bit, with Saint Nicholas surrounded by some little children. Together we read Christine Natale’s Saint Nicholas stories. My favorites are the ones when Nicholas is a boy because he shows generosity in ways that children can—by sharing what he has, by cheering people and giving comfort to those who are sad, and by being kind and generous to those who are different, disadvantaged, or disabled.

In the morning, we all found some treats and treasures in our shoes. Nicholas must have come in the night! Lucas and Asher got oranges, fancy chocolates with honey caramel inside, a bag full of magnetic hematite stones (gold for Lucas and rainbow iridescent for Asher), and they each got a beautiful heart-shaped agate worry stone. (We parents also received worry stones, too, and I think we need them more than the boys do. They are delightful for hands to find in pockets.) Simple. Sweet. My kids think it’s out of this world to be allowed a chocolate first thing in the morning!

Saint Nicholas also visited all the children at school. He and Rupert brought oranges, cookies, and crystals to Asher’s Kindergarten class, and he brought chocolates and pretty stones to Lucas’s fifth-grade class. I wish I had a photo, but I wasn’t there.

My kids chose some toys they no longer want to keep and we are donating them to others. We have a pile of donations outside at our curb, just waiting for the United Cerebral Palsy donation van to come and pick them up. It always feels good to give away things that no longer serve us to those who need them more than we do.

I think Saint Nicholas must be pleased with us. I am.

  • About Sara

    Thanks for visiting! I’m Sara, editor and writer, wife to Ian, and mother of two precious boys. I am living each day to the fullest and with as much grace, creativity, and patience as I can muster. This is where I write about living, loving, and engaging fully in family life and the world around me. I let my hair down here. I learn new skills here. I strive to be a better human being here. And I tell the truth.

    Our children attend Waldorf school and we are enriching our home and family life with plenty of Waldorf-inspired festivals, crafts, and stories.

    © 2003–2018 Please do not use my photographs or text without my permission.

    “Love doesn’t just sit there like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new.” —Ursula K. LeGuinn

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