Books and Boys

At what point does your child become an adult seeking dialogue and advice and engagement with you, his parents? The time passes imperceptibly, from little boy leaving notes under my pillow, to heartfelt letters from college, to traveling to unusual places together. We may have conversations of great depth or silly lightness or the mundane aspects of living. There’s a new level, though, when you engage adult to adult intentionally, deliberately, respecting one another not because you’re related, but because you have ideas to contribute to one another.

Last night, our younger son spoke with us about his idea to engage readers of books, linking them through connections, determining how people chose particular books to read. What motivates their choices? Is it from books read by people they admire or respect from afar, or those who probe issues of humanity or science or technology, or who are experts in their field? How do we choose to commit the time, thought and resources to read any book or long article or essay? Word of mouth, perhaps? Listing of books recently read by a well-known scientist? How do we tease apart their lists, what motivates and inspires them, how do they choose from the millions of available books and essays? And do we want to emulate their approaches, their reasonings, their paths, or find our own way? 

He is taking a road not frequently taken, putting aside a daily job for a time, to explore this passion, to develop some skills to put together a prototype or proof of concept to share his idea with others. Will it gain traction? Will it spark conversation? Will it generate new ideas of social connection and community?

I am excited to watch and participate in this journey in my many roles: parent, sometimes mentor, friend, and hopefully collaborator. [Alex in tree, Laguna Gloria Gardens, Austin, TX]image

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