One hat I wear but don’t talk much about on the blog is that of sub-co-editor & sub-co-publisher of my husband’s micro poetry press. Which is a fancy way of saying I (sometimes) help MFA Dad with designing & printing chapbooks of poetry.
Most of the time I love helping out. Sometimes I hate it. (I should write about having to say “no” to your spouse in order to save your own sanity… That’s fun times!)
This weekend, though, I loved it. MFA Dad loved it.
We attended a good old fashioned book fair. As a family. At a bar. (We are gunning for parents of the year.)
T loved it! There was live music & tap dancing & eating granola & yogurt at the bar & some inappropriate pictures in the bathroom… and all sorts of books & all sorts of book sellers.
Our little cottage industry publishing project (our micro-press, as we describe it to other book folks) is a family affair. It’s a way for our family to be productive & participate in a community of writers, publishers & book lovers.
This weekend was an embodiment of that engagement & activity. And even though T was one of 3 kids we saw in the bar that day, I could tell he was enlivened by the bustle, excited by being a part of something that he knows is so important to us as a family. He got restless & tired as any 3-year-old will get when surrounded by adults but it was a fantastic day to share together.
It would have made sense to some to have gotten someone to watch him so MFA Dad & I could do our thing in peace, without having to negotiate a nap, snacks, making sure T didn’t knock down our display.
But what fun is that?!
As a culture we tend to over-compartmentalize the worlds of children & adults, often forgetting that children can be (& want to be) active participants in our grown-up endeavors. Which is not to say that I would have taken T to that same bar for a concert at 10 p.m.
It’s also not to say that children shouldn’t have their own world(s). It’s important that T builds with his blocks, imagines rescues with his toy firefighters, digs in the sandbox.
But it’s not always necessary or even desirable to exclude children from our adult endeavors. In fact, I think we’d do well to include them more often. To let them participate to the extent that they are physically & mentally capable.
Children are not intrusions or inconveniences. They can be participants & partners if we give them the opportunity.
Bars & book fairs… Now that’s a holiday family tradition I can get into!