Thursday, September 1, 2016

To Quote The Year

As my darling teenagers returned to school recently I wanted to come up with something interesting and fun to do that would help brighten their day while at school dealing with the mass quantities of teenage angst, rampant hormones, endless classes of teachers chattering away at them, and the immense amounts of homework they lug home each day. Given that they are teenagers the list of options is rather limited unless the goal is to commit eternal parental induced embarrassment which is fine provided it only happens at home but for you to commit the act at school.....well, I think they've devised a supremely appropriate circle of hell for parents that do that.

Since they started back to school on a Tuesday (if I knew why this made sense to the district I'd tell you, current theory is pin the tail on the calendar) I started by just putting fun little things we say to each other around the house or the fun things that I hear them say on a regular basis (there are dry erase boards up where I jot them down as I hear them, endless amusement for us all here and I do share pics on FB) in their lunches while I thought of something with a bit more, well, substance to do. The perfect thing showed up in my Facebook feed as I was checking it a couple days into the new school year. One of my favorite book quotes from a beloved author scrolled by and I knew it would be the perfect project to do all year. 

Now I know a lot of people when thinking of doing book quotes in their kids lunches think to do the classics of various eras, books off their kids required reading lists for the year, books filled with inspirational quotes, or award winning books based within their child's reading level. I on the other hand am me and that's not where my thoughts went. No, these are quotes from authors that are read by myself, my kids, my mother, and my friends. 

These are authors whose words have made me giggle, snort, and laugh so hard I've actually had to stop reading to regain my composure before I can continue. Whose words have made me think, made me question, made me view the world around me with different and better understanding, expanded my mind, my views, perceptions, opened my heart, become a part of who I am, and quite often cried. These are authors whose words have impacted me more greatly than any of the previously mentioned literary options. These are the quotes I want to share with my children, not simply because of their impact to me, but because I can see how they will impact my children.

To share these quotes from these amazing authors with my children is one of the greatest gifts I can give to them daily. While most days the quotes tend more towards snark, sarcasm, humor, and just plain fun simply because there's no such thing as too much laughter. Then there are days when the quotes they each receive is something I see them needing to read to continue their paths to the wonderful adults I catch glimpses of at least once a day. 

I started off the quote project with one of the greatest authors here in our house who sadly passed last year, Sir Terry Pratchett. An amazing man who had given the world an immense amount of books to enjoy seemed like a good place to start. After the first week I asked the kids if they wanted me to do a different author or another week of Pratchett, the answer was of course more Pratchett. I then put up a list of authors (while my son insisted on yet more Pratchett) on the dry-erase board for them to vote for weeks three and four authors because I wanted their input while promising that this did not mean that there wouldn't be future Pratchett. We are currently wrapping up Ari Marmell week and will be venturing into Jim Butcher next week with the next round of voting up that keeps getting bigger each time I think of an author that should be added to the collection of fun.

I spend time each day going through the current list of authors on the board for the next round of voting hunting down quotes and enjoy every minute of it. I have composition books that I write all the various quotes I find in different ink colors for who the quote best fits (because I find it fun to find quotes that each will enjoy), if it can be for either, and the ones I plan to share with their teachers come conference time because I want to share these quotes with the people who teach our children and see the impact they have on them. Each night I write the quotes that have been chosen for the next day on silly post-it notes and put them in their lunch boxes. If they don't have school or have a half day so they don't take a lunch the quotes are put up on their specific dry-erase boards which is also where the stick them each day when they clean out their lunch boxes. I ask everyday what they thought of their quotes, their sibling's quote, and enjoy their responses and the conversations that some of them generate.

The final part of the entire project is to laminate each quote (180 days of school times 2 kids equals 360 quotes) and hang them up around our dining area and so they have them as mementos of something really cool that happened for the 2016/2017 school year. So there you go, a great big post on my little project and the reasons for it. Feel free to suggest authors that you feel should be included in the list of options. Now I bid you all a good night so I can sleep and prep for my doctors visit tomorrow.

The Queen Nut