Book fair for the youngest stimulates Nunn’s thinking

Tuesday was the first parent-teacher meetings for my youngest child, which my house has always treated as a right of passage.

Before book fairs, my children’s schools always did a really good job of advertising the Scholastic Book Fair, which is conveniently held the same night, and Charlotte’s conference night was no different. The day before the book fair the kids had the opportunity to pre-shop and this year Charlotte’s class teamed up with fifth-graders, who were kind enough to write shopping lists for the needs of children. Charlotte had identified six books she wanted – six books.

Kindergarten parent-teacher conferences are almost a giveaway, and we have always rewarded conference praise with a book fair book.

It wasn’t that long ago that we weren’t fortunate enough to have any kind of financial security. In fact, more often than not we scratched and lived from paycheck to paycheck. This meant that the book fairs were a bit of a financial burden, but as parents we tend to do whatever we can for our children.

Charlotte left the book fair with four books, two of her selection and two chosen by us. As we walked to the van, I reflected on the past and concluded that this was probably our most important purchase at a book fair. That $ 30 pound was our biggest purchase for a single child, and I was wondering if I should explain myself to our older children. Luckily when we got home everyone was busy and despite my fears that there were six eyes staring at me and judging our “favoritism” there were none. They haven’t even noticed, but I still need to explain and I know I’m not alone in my situation, so allow me to share my open letter to older siblings.

Dear older children,

Although parents sometimes try to provide for each child equally, this is simply not possible. We were younger when you were born. We were earlier in our careers, we didn’t have time to save money, and honestly, we made less spending choices than today.

When you see your younger siblings having a bigger birthday or Christmas, it’s not because we love them more – we all love you equally, with all our hearts.

When we attend school activities that you must have missed, it’s not because we care less about you. It’s probably because we were working harder to deliver less, or maybe our priorities weren’t where they are now.

As parents get older and begin to look down on our own mortality, as the personal losses in our lives accumulate, we begin to realize what matters most.

We may not have been able to take you on an extravagant vacation. We couldn’t take you to Disney or Legoland when you were younger, and maybe we can now. It is not because we want to deprive you of all experience. In fact, you have inspired many of our life goals, our dreams. You were the inspiration that made us grow, work smarter, and hopefully finally get to the point where we were able to do some of those things that we always dreamed of doing.

I understand that knowing these things might not make it easier to “miss”. Knowing what you missed weighs on us too. However, we still hope you can learn from it and make better choices than us.


Dad and mom.

– Scott Nunn is Associate Editor of the Huron Daily Tribune. Nunn sometimes departs from his cheeky columns for something more real. Nunn is the father of four wonderful children aged 16 to 5. Nunn can be contacted at

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