This past weekend, on Saturday, my mom and dad came up from San Antonio to help me begin to pack my stuff for storage while I'm in Ecuador. I had the idea of cataloguing all of my books by box so that if I request one, they'll know where to find it with less hassle. Here's the lineup.
At the box will be mom. She'll be in charge of actually putting the books in boxes, capitalizing on her organizational skills.
For retrieval and as interemediary will be dad. He'll be in charge of getting stacks of books, and making sure mom and I don't just sit and yak.
I'll be the records-keeper. That means that I'll have say as to whether or not any book is to be packed and, if so, I'll number the sheet with the corresponding box number.
We began to chug along, and an interesting thing began to happen - I started thinking about it. A lot. I noticed that, as I searched the 33 pages to find any given book, dad would have a second to read the title and maybe flip through a page or two. As soon as I marked the number down, he would give the book to mom, who, while waiting for the next delivery, would similarly scan the book for a few seconds. In this way we worked through 13 boxes of books, probably in the neighborhood of 500 books or so.
Later in the day, after the two had headed back to San Antonio, I began to realize the communication that my books had shared with both mom and dad. They were seeing, firsthand, a glimpse into where my interests lie. They saw Marxism, Critical Pedagogy, Poverty, Language, Feminism, Humor, Mathematics, the Universe, Atheism and Religion, Sociology, South America, Revolution, Literacy, Satire, Politics, Food, Non-Human Animals, Children, etc...they saw it all.
In all my 25 years of being extremely honest with them, I've never been able to so aptly and so succinctly offer them a crash course in what their son has become, at least regarding intellectual interests. Amazing. Just amazing.