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Sunday, May 17, 2015

I’m pretty sure it’s a typical wish from one generation onto the next: “May you have children who are just like you.”

Actually, I’m pretty sure it’s a curse, one along the same lines of “May you live in interesting times.” Because while having kids who remind you of yourself growing up can be pretty darned awesome, there are also moments like these.



“Other people need to use the bathroom, kiddo. Are you OK in there?”

“Just a minute.”


“Wait. Do you have a book? Are you reading in there?”


“Maybe …”

At some point over the past six months or so, my younger son has become an avid reader. Voracious, even. While both the kids have always loved books and being read to, and were proud of their progress in learning to read, Sam leapt in what seemed like weeks from carefully sounding things out to pouring over book after book. It just … clicked.

And while we couldn’t be prouder (my husband and I are both readers), there are times when it is, perhaps, just a little inconvenient.

“Sam, put down the book and put your socks and sneakers on.”

“No, we’re not turning around and going back to the house so you can get your book.”

“Sam, are you reading in the bathroom again?”

I haven’t caught him reading with a flashlight after bedtime yet, but I’m sure it’s only a matter of time.

I related the bathroom story to my mom a few days ago. She was kind; she didn’t laugh right out loud. She just sort of smiled and made a comment about it reminding her of someone.

OK. Maybe just a little.

I’ll confess. I was just the same at his age. And at 8. And 10. And 16 and … OK, occasionally even today, although the dominant voice telling me to put down the book and do something else is, these days, my own. (OK, sometimes it’s my husband.)

When you’re a real reader and you’re in a good book, whether it’s Sam’s beloved Garfield book (picked up for a quarter at a used-book sale) or my newest tome, the world goes away. You know you should go do your homework (or make sure your kids do their homework), but it’s so easy to think “Just one page …”

I need to remember that … even as I’m reminding him that, yes, other people do need to use the bathroom.


On Saturday, one of our very favorite locations in all of Western New York opens for a new season. The Olcott Beach Carousel Park, right on the shore of Lake Ontario in Olcott, will be open from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

You just can’t beat it. Every one of the vintage rides is only 25 cents and the setting on the lake is wonderful. Sadly, my kids are on the very verge of outgrowing the rides (except for the carousel), but we’ll probably still make a visit during the Pirate Festival on July 10, 11 and 12. Even if it’s just to bid farewell to an old friend.

For more information, visit

A voracious reader herself, Jill Keppeler is trying to figure out which book to read next. Any suggestions? Follow her on Twitter @JillKeppeler or email her at

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