Sunday, March 28, 2010

Dinnertime Reading

I've always loved school. I'm kind of weird that way. And I thought teaching my kids would be easy because of my love of school. My first learned to read so quickly, I was still busy patting myself on the back before I realized she really is just a freak of nature and not the norm. By the time that realization hit me, I was knee-deep in frustration trying to teach the next one to read.

I've researched. I've interviewed other moms. I've fretted. I've worried that something is wrong. All this worry because he doesn't share one ounce of the enthusiasm for academia that practically oozes from my pores. He doesn't want to learn unless it the lesson is on Legos. He has shown no desire to pick up a book and read it just for the fun of it.

Don't get me wrong. When a friend gave him one from the Wimpy Kid series, he toted it around with him for awhile, read a few pages, recounted a couple of really classy fart jokes. He even filled in some of the pages of the Do-It-Yourself Wimpy Kid book I gave him. But typically he only turned to the books upon my prompting.

Then last week his daddy came home with a suitcase full of books. His travels had taken him up to his brother's house, the brother who just got married and whose new wife had cleaned house in order to move to a new home. She sent all of her daughter's old books back with my husband. Among those books was a tale about Patches the dog. Michael was immediately drawn to this book because his heart has still not healed from the loss of Max, a fact which still causes me much guilt and angst.

On his own, Michael picked up the book, and by his very own choice, began to read the book. And then he carried it with him wherever we went, including out to dinner. Most of the time we like the kids to leave their books and games in the car so we can enjoy a family dinner without everyone's face covered by a book or an electronic device, but I most certainly was not going to dampen his enthusiasm by forbidding that he bring Patches to the dinner table.

So the Academia Enthusiasm still may not ooze from the boy's pores, but at least there are signs that it's in his blood somewhere. And, well, we may have issued a rash bribe promise that if we see him continue to improve in his reading, we may consider a dog somewhere in the future. Not a puppy, but a dog. We'll see...

7 comments:

dclouser said...

I love this post! So exciting to see Michael be drawn in by a book. I advise you to get a black lab - they are hands-down the easiest and most lovable dog to have around. They adore kids and are obedient.

CrossView said...

Not so long ago I was writing a post along the same lines. Hallelujah! I'm thrilled for you, I remember the worry and wondering what I was doing wrong. And I'm thrilled for your son, it will open up so much for him! Big hugs to you both!

Cheryl said...

Michael is adorable reading his book! I remember being so worried about Nate because he hated to read. He was obsessed with hunting and fishing so we subscribed to Field & Stream magazine for him and he'd look at/read it by the hour. He still does not enjoy reading at all but has graduated from college and making a 6-figure salary:)

Mr. Stupid said...

Wow. This is great for Micheal. I hated reading but when the Harry Potter series arrived, I couldn't stop reading them...:)

Arby said...

I think you confused “classy fart jokes” with “classic fart jokes,” because the words “classy” and “fart” really don’t belong in the same sentence. But hey, the boy found something that he wants to read. That’s always the first step. Keep giving him a wide variety of reading subjects from which to choose and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at what he selects.

@nnie said...

you are so encouraging me here... I have a little Lego lover that just "doesn't have time" to sit down and read. I long for the day that he does just what Michael did. Luke's kindergarten teacher has long told me it's a matter of finding the right material. I am still looking! love the post!

tsinclair said...

A boy and his dog...my mother keeps telling me that they go hand in hand and that I need to get Austin a puppy.
I remind her that we have Jack, our wonderful, albeit aging, Golden Retriever. She insists that it is not the same and that I need to get a dog for him.
It is a wonderful feeling to see your child read.