Something crazy is going on at my house. It’s good crazy. Really good crazy actually.
This is my son Cole. He loves his video games, playing on my iPad, and riding his bike. I can think of other things he really likes to do, but I don’t know if reading would normally make the list. I love it when he reads and he knows how important it is to be a strong reader, but he’s never given me the impression that he loves doing it.
In contrast, my daughter Anna inhales books, talks about books, trades books and has even been known to keep a book journal all on her own. It’s easy to recognize her passion.
Therefore, it has not gone unnoticed that since school ended, Cole has had his nose in a book non-stop. It started with Middle School the Worst Years of my Life by James Patterson. The book was sitting on the center council in my car and he just picked it up and started reading. When I took his little sister and brother to tennis, he asked to ride along. Book in hand he found a shady bench and spent the hour reading. Last night he rode along to Anna’s softball game and again only looked up from the book to watch her bat. When he finished the book last night I wondered if that would be the end. Instead, I found him up early reading.
It sounds like he decided to finish the Harry Potter series that he took a break from when I “made him read for battle of the books last winter.” As I served lunch to the kids today, he asked if we could go to the park this afternoon to do some reading. Wow! How could I deny a suggestion like that?
Unable to resist, I took a risk and decided to ask, “So what’s with this new passion for reading all of a sudden?”
“What do you mean?” he looked confused. “There are books all over this place and finally I get to read whatever I want. I’ve been waiting all year for this.”
I guess if there was any question in my mind about the importance of letting kids choose their books – it just vanished. I’m thrilled to have him reading for fun and excited to see what else he chooses to read this summer. It’s his choice, however, I can’t promise Anna and I won’t plant a few that we think he’d like on his seat in the car.