I love reading and I have always tried to communicate that love to my boys. From the time that they were little gaffers, I have read to them daily. We were the family that made weekly pilgrimmages out to the library and got to know the library staff by name. The boys took part in many library programs designed to help kids love reading. I scoured garage sales for good used books to add to the growing collection of “anytime reading books”. With all this effort and emphasis on books, I thought that my boys would quickly share my love of reading and take off once they could read on their own. Thankfully, they both did learn to read on their own but they never felt like doing it. There was always something more exciting at hand it seemed than a story. I continued to read to them and they continued to enjoy that but secretly I wanted to see them often with their noses stuck in a good book.
I finally got my wish. Last week at camping I read to the boys as I always do. D didn’t have quite enough and asked if he could stay up late and keep reading the story. I tried to act unsurprised and casually said that I thought that would be O.K. Inside I was screaming “Yes!!!” D’s example spurred P to read on his own. D would tell him some of the details in the next few chapters which had P pleading if he could read the book on his own. Double yes!!
When we got back from camping, it seemed that the newfound joy of reading was just a blip on the radar screen. Once again, there were more entertaining things than books at home. I have seen a few more blips in the last few days. We paid a visit to La Belle Province to see my mother-in-law and on the long car ride there the boys announced that they were going to read books. Admittedly, I did a double take in the rear view mirror to see if I actually had my kids in the back seat of my van. After all, we did pack the Game Boy along with the books. There were a few times over the last three days while we were in La Tuque that the boys actually chose to read books over watching television. Again, I tried to not pass out from shock but just enjoy it.
We made our weekly trip to the library today. D picked out a couple of books that completed the story we had heard on CD while journeying to La Tuque. He seemed pretty eager to get started on them. P actually spent his hard earned money on a book later on in the evening. Wonders never cease it seems.
I have waited a long time for moments like these. I am hoping that this sort of behaviour happens so often from here on in that I’ll stop noticing it so much and wondering what on earth has happened to my children. Yes, I have waited long and patiently for this but finally my labour is bearing some fruit.