Five years from now, I hope our Saturdays will be filled with reading. I imagine a Saturday afternoon where we all spend an hour on the couch, enjoying a treasure from the library. I’ll have something new from the teen section. Miles, he’ll be 8, he might be reading Magic Treehouse or Encyclopedia Brown. Noah, he’ll be six, so possibly Nathan would read him Frog and Toad, or maybe he’d be flipping through a Highlights. Nathan probably won’t be reading a book, strictly speaking, unless he’s reading to Noah, but he’ll be reading something, most likely an article or a website on his computer. He’ll probably update us frequently on what he’s discovered...
Today, I will try to work in as many books for the boys as I can. I frequently think of that saying, “Doctors children get sick and shoemaker’s children go barefoot.” As a librarian, a youth librarian, I always worry that my own boys don’t get enough time with books. They both love books, and we have small book-related routines, but I so want them to be life-long story lovers, like their mama and like their Grandpa Kirk. It’s hard to walk the line between fostering a love of reading and obsessing over it.
This morning, we read “How Do Dinosaurs Get Well Soon” over breakfast. Before nap, Noah and I read “Freight Train” and “Go, Dogs, Go.” If Nathan helps Miles to his nap, they’ll probably read “The Going to Bed Book” or “Hippos Go Berserk.” At bedtime tonight, if I read to Miles, we’ll probably enjoy “Goodnight Gorilla.” Miles is getting to the point where he’s noticing more and more details in the pictures in his storybooks. He asked me recently about who would close the door in the zookeeper’s house in Goodnight Gorilla, because the armadillo was last in line, and he was too small to shut the door. Noah has started pointing at pictures in his books, and making his inquiring grunt, as if to say “What’s that? What’s that? What’s that?” He loves the page in “Go Dogs Go” that have the stoplight...red on the first page, and green on the next.
For the past several months, I’ve been supplying the teachers in Miles’ daycare classroom with pictures books with CDs. The kids love to hear music and sounds that go along with their stories, and the teachers, I think, appreciate the break from reading...they can keep a close eye on the children and answer their questions more easily if the CD is doing the reading. I should offer to take some into Noah’s classroom as well.
Usually, I do all my reading on my lunch hour at work. I also get an hour of “reading” in each work day on my commute when I listen to audiobooks in the car. I will probably not read my own book today. I have four checked out at the moment, for myself. I keep them handy for those surprise moments of reading time. If the boys decide to play in the hall closet with the door closed, for instance, I might have ten minutes with my book sitting right outside the door. The age-old parenting dilemma...do I encourage my children to play in a closet, so that I can have ten minutes with Bitterblue?