Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Peter Kreeft's "Before I Go"

... is an excellent idea, typically well-executed by the good professor.

It's also not me.

You can buy it here.
I've thought about this a great deal - writing a book, probably serialized on this blog, of things I want to share with our kids. Professor Kreeft did just that and for the same reasons I would, a partial curative for the imperfections of fatherhood. I'm going through it now, but it's a harder slog than I would have expected for something and someone so simpatico with my way of thinking.

First off, the good. It's beautifully written. Peter is an excellent wordsmith and this flows as well as anything he's ever done. It's charmingly random. Early in the book he mentions this and the chapters have the warmth of odd thoughts which popped into his head that he wanted to get down on paper. I love the humanity of it. Finally, the lessons are right on the mark for things I'd like to impart to my own kids.

So it's lovely, charming and right on the money. What's not to like?

Well, being a lover* is an intensely personal thing. Everyone has to do it in their own style. It can't be otherwise as the job saturates your life. You can't be someone you're not as a parent. It's not that I don't like the book, it's that it's not my style at all. Professor Kreeft's love is very earnest. Mine is more chaotic and messy. Sort of like this blog. Topics all over the place, wild mood swings, solemn vows taken and then dismissed a week later and so on.

The book is a terrific starting point, a reference for others, but it's not you. If writing isn't your thing you could do far worse than to simply read it and then gift it to your kids, but for me, it's too personal of a job to not go beyond that. Of course, Professor Kreeft actually did it and I've only pondered it, so it's got that going for it.

In any case, reading it has renewed my interest in starting a series of posts serializing my own lessons to my kids. If you stick around for them and I actually write them, I've no doubt that you'll think to yourself, "These are good in their own way, but their just not me."

* - Parenting is a love affair, just with a different purpose than being your wife or husband's lover.

1 comment:

Foxfier said...

* - Parenting is a love affair, just with a different purpose than being your wife or husband's lover.

Funny timing.

Just this afternoon I was musing about friendship being love-- true friends love you back, while "friends" might be unrequited love. And you might even know that, and be OK with it.