Tales for Your Monkey’s Mind by Steve Michael Reedy

monkeysmind

Magical storybooks

Castles and clowns

This is a book that you will not put down.

A collection of stories

For kids and adults

That give you a peek behind the curtain of the world.

Ok so I’m not a very good poet, but I wanted to honor the book’s lyrical writing with a little something. And I didn’t lie – from the first tale I was hooked. I love how this book gives you a chance to figure out the meaning behind each story on your own instead of being preachy about it. I was excited to see how long it took me, and in some cases I didn’t have the AHA moment until halfway through, which made me even more excited to read on.

There are six stories, told in a seamless way and even though each is its own, they are integrated with transitions and wordplay. Not everything rhymes, and they’re mostly in the format of short stories. This is a book that can be read and enjoyed by anyone. The older you are, I think, the more you can infer from it.

What’s even more interesting is that I shared this book with my husband and we actually disagreed on the meanings of some of the concepts in it. So not only does it make you think – it makes you think critically. A conversation waiting, a discussion brewing. These stories would make great topics to explore with a child, including being yourself and living for yourself.

One story that really resonated with me was about One Day. Basically, a girl is sad and asking what makes everyone else happy. They tell her it’s looking forward to their One Day. One day, when I have the car I want I’ll be happy. One day, when I lose the weight I want, I’ll be happy. One day, when I find the love I want, I will be happy. But when One Day comes they just make another One Day to look forward to. It just hits so close to home, it makes me stop and appreciate the now more.

No matter your age or whether you have children, this is a book worth checking out. Don’t let the rhyming deter you – these tales are anything but simple.

A big thank you to Steve, for providing me with a copy of his book and opening my mind.

 

Cross-posted to My Trending Stories.

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I was going to be the cool mom – and then there was Minecraft.

minecraft

I always thought I’d be the cool ‘fun’ mom. I’m young, I play video games, I love superheroes. I’m the full awesome mom package! When my 1st grader came to me last year and asked for Pokemon cards I gladly passed down my collection of first gens and holographics. I was so proud when he asked for Lego Star Wars for his birthday while my youngest asked for Lego Batman.

And then there was Minecraft.

I didn’t think much of it when my son asked to download it on his iPad because the kids at school played it. So I got it for both of them (4 and 6 at the time) and it might have been the worst decision I’ve ever made.

Ok, not really, but there are (many many) times I feel that way.

I have a love-hate relationship with Minecraft. The love comes from the amount of imagination it takes to create the things I see my kids creating. The first week of having it, my 4 year old showed me a house he built. And I mean a structurally sound house, fully furnished and decorated all the way up to the wallpaper type.

Holy crap.

If I was a cartoon character my jaw would have been on the floor. I’ve seen them make fully working railroads, castles, underground mines, farms, and more.

However, I’ve also seen them spend ten minutes chasing pigs.

And that’s where the hate comes from. The time spend on that game is astronomical but because there is no real goal or mission so it can be played indefinitely.

Every parent I know whose kids play says they are obsessed with Minecraft. That obsession is the reason for 99% of tantrums for us. It’s the one thing they cry about when told they can’t play or have to stop.

It got so bad last year I took away their iPads for the entire summer because they didn’t want to go outside. We’ve found a balance of some sort now, but Minecraft still rules their conversations and (non-screen) play.

Now I remember, I was -that- kid (though I was 11 when we got our first computer). I would spend hours playing Roller-coaster Tycoon and Heroes of Might and Magic. My parents would “ground” me by kicking me outside to play.

And of course I told myself that when I have kids, I will let them play video games as much as they want to.

And now I’m eating my words from a bitter pixelated pickaxe.