Friday, March 28, 2008

Family Squeeze

Conversations on the way into school in the morning are always interesting, but yesterday's took the cake. I'm not sure how the topic came up, but I was telling the older two kids about a show Jesse and I watched on DVD that had Steve Burns from Blue's Clues in it (Mia had left the room, we don't watch this stuff on our own). Jack's Music Show was on when the man singing and playing the guitar caught my eye. I told Jesse that I thought it was Steve, but he didn't think so, but as we watched, we could see that it was really him, in spite of the shaved head and stubble goatee. The kids and I joked around about how this poor man for the rest of his life was going to be accosted by children calling his name and wanting to know where Blue was. The conversation then degraded into a discussion into how he would explain to his children someday where Blue was. Can you imagine having Steve for your father? So Dad, where is Uncle Joe and where is Blue? Can we meet Magenta? Oh the questions! By the time we got to school, we were all breathless with laughter. This is the insanity that is my life.

Family Squeeze by Phil Callaway is a hilarious look at the generation stuck between raising teens and taking care of their aging parents. Callaway, who has three children, took care of his parents as they got older, and in the beginning stages of his mother's Alzheimer's. He tackles the struggles and joys of caring for the old and young with faith and humor. Having two teenagers myself, I related all too strongly to that portion of the book. Sons who eat you out of house and home, daughters who brush aside advice and rules with a condescending smile; Callaway relates it in a way that had me roaring with laughter. His stories about his parents were funny, sweet, and moving as well. The chapters are short anecdotes, easy to read for those with no time to read, but difficult to put down.

The winners of this week's book contest were Jodi Heurlin and Mary Schlorf. They will each receive a copy of Family Squeeze. Congratulations!