Friday, July 13, 2012

Dear Reader

As a parent, I've done my level best to keep my mind on one goal for raising JT: I want him to be happy.  In the process, I've kept in mind the fact that happiness comes in many different flavors and that it's something we each must make for ourselves.  So I try not to cast his world in terms of the things that make me happy and instead focus on helping JT to find his own way to happiness.  That's a hard goal to achieve, but I try.

Books make me happy and I was eager to introduce reading to my boy.  I really hoped JT would come to enjoy reading as much as I do.  I loved books for the worlds they gave me entrance to, for the friends I made in the pages and the places the plot lines would take me.  At various times in my life, books provided a kind of solace and comfort that I couldn't find anywhere else.  Between the ideas and the imagination, reading meant the world to me.  And I wanted to give that world to JT.

Books and magazines are always around our house.  In fact, I was late to the hospital for his birth (he needed to be induced) because I stopped by the bookstore on the way.  I read to him all the time when he was a baby and I didn't restrict the reading to children's books.  I quickly realized that he would let me read my books if he could be held and hear my voice.  So I held him and read him Jane Austen's Emma when he was three months old.  Every night, I tucked him in with a few stories.  As he got older, we switched to chapter books and in this manner I was able to read him some of my youthful favorites. 

He mastered reading by the time he was seven and began to immerse himself in books of his own choosing.  By the time he was ten, I'd been replaced as his nightly bedtime reader.  Most nights, he tucks into bed each night with a book to keep him company.

And so I've got myself a reader, one who is excited by the world of his books.  Often, he re-creates the stories when he plays outside.  We talk about the ideas that stories inspire for him.  Four weeks in to the summer, he's finished seven books and has his eye on a half dozen more.
Tiger and Lucy are as thrilled as I am about this development.

No comments: