Did you ever find yourself really looking forward to a book only to be entirely let down once you actually finished it? I finally got around to reading Raising God First Kids in a Me First World by Barbara Curtis. I know I kept putting it off because it was the last book she wrote before she died and I felt like once I finished the book, I would be closing the book on a source I had become used to looking to for wisdom. I always loved that Barbara was so real and honest in sharing about her life. You could always feel the love she had for her family and yet she never held back from sharing some of the painful stuff. The real nitty gritty stuff that helps you relate to someone and maybe, just maybe makes you feel like you aren't such a failure at this parenting thing after all because someone else is dealing with less than perfect stuff, too. Let's be honest here: there simply are not many truly large family bloggers who are sharing the less than perfect stuff with the world.
Yesterday I finally sat down during karate class to finish the book. And although you could feel the love she had for her children and just knew she put so much of her heart into the book, I have to say there was nothing new in the book for me at all. Or much concrete advice to be honest. There were lots of stories about her children but no real suggestions. So I guess I'm feeling a bit disappointed.
It is wonderful to see that she felt such closeness to her high school and adult children. I don't think many parents feel that connection. I doubt many kids feel that connection. And it was obvious she poured her heart into the book in her last few months. But I have to call it more of a final memoir than a parenting book. Wonderful stories of a wonderful family, but not quite a parenting book.
And, yes, I do still miss reading the stories she would share with her readers every week.