One of my favorite stories was of Papa working in the sewer. He would have to wade through sewage in order to do his job as a plumber. I’m sure it was a thankless job, but he did what he had to do in order to provide for his family. The same value was passed down to our family by our own grandfathers and fathers.
My own grandfather worked for years in a coal mine, scrimping and saving each penny in order to be able to purchase land for a farm when he was able. This was certainly not a job he loved, but he worked hard. My great-grandfather sold pies made by my great-grandmother in order to provide for his family when he was laid off during the Depression. My husband worked a variety of jobs in high school and college including mowing lawns, fast-food, pizza making, working at a grocery store, and more in order to save and pay his way through college to end up without debt on the other side. A good work ethic is not taught as it once was and I hope to instill the same ideas in our girls.
I also liked the multiple times that the author referenced her father’s positive outlook on life, no matter the circumstances. It is so easy to fall into a woe-is-me type of attitude when things get difficult, but our children are watching us. Do you say you are joyful in Christ, but neglect to show it to your children? I can become guilty of this at times and I was challenged to make sure I am living out those important parts of my faith which I want to pass on to my children.
I did choose not to read this aloud to my children. This is much more suited for older students and their parents. Since my girls are younger (ages 7, 5, and 3), they would probably not have gotten very much out of the stories. We are not catholic, but Papa was and some mention of this and some catholic practices in the book. This would not have been something I would want to explain to my girls at such a young age, but it would probably not have been as big of a deal for older children. Although I still highly recommend this book I think this is important to be aware of this fact. It can be purchased directly from the website for $21.97 (this includes shipping) or Amazon.