One of the coolest thing about kids is their ultimate joy. They can feel joy in a way we can no longer experience. They can be as happy as they ever have in their lives just because they are in a jumpy place. The next book they read might be the best book they've ever read.

Everything is so...new. Of course it goes the other way too. BigBrother is a very very bright kid. But he's afraid too. Afraid of failing. We've been emphasizing hard work over results for a long time. When he loses a game on his Leapster (the money they make on that thing is a rip off by the way), we tell him he has to try hard and he'll lose sometimes anyway.

Over the last several weeks, he's been having fits about a reading book. The kid LOVES books. He loves school. But he started getting very upset when he was told. He would spontaneously start crying about it. We'd be having a great time horsing around, and then we'd take a break and he'd say something like "I hate school, I hate book, I hate reading."

For the last several weeks the breakdown has been a near daily event. I called home last Friday to check in. DearWife put BigBrother on. "Daddy, I got my reading book. I LOVE IT!"

I don't think I can explain how happy I was in that moment. If you've ever seen the movie "Parenthood" it was like living through that whole movie in an instant.

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