My kids love this crap!
And it's not just yearbooks. Any old memorabilia--even receipts--seem to enthrall them, so long as they get the accompanying story. This doesn't, I think, speak of nerdiness in my children, but of their interest in connecting with their parents' past. I've got a sheaf of old newspaper articles, receipts, train tickets, fliers, and so on stuffed into a journal from my first year at BYU and my following two years in Italy, not to mention the scrap book my mom assembled from all the pictures I sent home during that time, and, once again, my kids love it. All of it.
Look at it this way: what are the overall benefits of reading books with your kids (benefits to the kids, not you, I mean)?
- increased literacy and fluency;
- increased verbal and narrative skills;
- improved relationships, reader-to-listener;
- time away from the television;
- relief from sibling rivalries;
- bedtime tranquilizer;
- general mood improvement, both listener and reader; and (did I forget any?)
- maybe most importantly, the kids like it, which surely is why the previous seven even work at all.
After all, our comfort should have little if anything to do with their growth and pleasure, right? which, by the way, is a lesson I really need to do better at remembering, as I sit comfortably at my desk on a break from work far from kids and my poor wife who's sick and dealing with even sicker kids (darn flu season!). What's a little pain in the back or neck? What's a little time away from whatever it is that takes your time? How important are your kids, after all? But there is at least some minor remediation:
It was my father who discovered the available leverage to take full advantage of the labor potential of a full half dozen kids where regarded the otherwise slump of his physical comfort at story time: all six of us were obligated to take turns scratching his back while he read us our story; if we stopped, he stopped; the longer we scratched, the longer he read. Good deal. But he never showed us his old yearbooks, and even now I would LOVE to see those.