Saturday, December 3, 2011

A Page Has Turned

Sometimes, I feel like doing very little.

I don't want to play. Or clean. Or learn. Or exercise. Or make anything. Sometimes I just want to veg. This can be tricky when you're blessed with a busy boy. He's a motivator our Boy. He's got plans. The Boy's got dreams I tell you. And he needs us to dream along with him.

If truth be told, The Boy isn't exactly the most independent child there ever was. In general, he doesn't do stuff by himself. When he plans to do something, it usually involves E-VER-Y-BODY:

"And now it's time for ... X!" he proclaims.  Or  "Come on everybody, let's do Y!"

Why indeed. 

When he plays, someone has to play with him. Right now, soccer is the flavour of the month. So after dinner for several weeks now, amongst the din of me doing the dinner dishes and the CBC Radio nightly news, Lo works up a heart-shaped sweat playing living-room soccer with him.  

[Yes, Lo's sweat is heart-shaped. Just accept it. I wouldn't nor couldn't make stuff like that up. And yes again, we allow soccer in the living room. That is also true.]

At any rate, The Boy just loves this sort of one-on-one playtime. He could play for hours and probably days if we let him.  But heavens to Murgatroid, sometimes a parent needs a break. We've had some luck making this happen by setting him up with a quiet activity, like a nice craft or a book of mazes. But that usually lasts... oh... 7 minutes? No, if we get any real downtime it's because The Boy is sleeping. 

But, over the last few days, a page has turned. Without prompting, The Boy is picking up books, sitting by himself, and reading on his own. It's stunning. When it happens, Lo and I stand behind walls spying on him miming to each other excitedly, doing silent happy dances, snapping photos, and beaming proudly. Perhaps we should be using our time more wisely and getting some naps in or something, but we're not there yet. We're still in shock. At one point, he actually sat there for 45 blissful minutes of uninterrupted reading. 

Every night since his birth pretty much, reading has been part of his bedtime routine. He does not go to bed without a story. This was deliberate. We wanted to fill his mind with possibility. To show him the world, and give him the gift of reading. But he's 7 and a half and I was beginning to give up hope that he'd ever pick up a book all on his own. That worry is gone.

Last Sunday, we sat together reading our respective tomes on the couch. Lo caught the moment on camera. It was like heaven must be, I'm almost certain. And a couple of nights later when I was putting him to bed, he even suggested that we read quietly side by side, he with his book, I with mine. I had to make sure I heard him right.

I've dreamed of these quiet moments for years. Now they're here and I can hardly believe it. It feels like we're at the start of a whole new chapter in The Boy's story. And while I'm excited to read what happens next, I almost wish we could pause on this page for awhile and just savour it, you know?



  1. A Sweet Moment.

    They grow up so very fast.

    hugs & ♥s

  2. Sweetness itself. I read to both my girls from infancy.

    I heard that children whose parents (this is not the only reason I did it) read to them from birth were often early readers.

    No such luck - C didn't hit her stride until she was eight - K is catching on a little quicker - she is just Boy's age.

    I still read to them all the time - but it is nice when they read to themselves or when C reads to K (C would make a brilliant librarian - she is excellent at dramatic reading).

    Congratulations - and yes enjoy the moment.

  3. Love that you have this moment forever. Splendid.

  4. That was a lovely post Michelle, and a happy time, indeed. There's nothing like TinTin for quiet reading! I remember wishing there were about 100 more issues of TinTin in the library!!

  5. And I noticed he reads Tintin in French !)

  6. Yes, I do know. These moments are so wonderful. You wrote about it beautifully.

    Last night we had friends over and made your heart/house ornament. Although MY busy son had to change the design totally, which was great! Thanks for sharing your creativity.

  7. I'm so glad for you all! Reading and books are very important and abundant in our house and I'm so glad that my girls share my love of reading too. I know it's hard to sometimes get boys to read but I guess it sometimes a matter of finding the right books and also being at the right reading age. Something must have clicked in place for your boy. I see TinTin has just been made into a film by New Zealanders no less :-)

  8. So cool, M! An addiction of the best kind! (Tintin today, Harry Potter tomorrow...) Loved this post, made me remember hours and hours and hours poring over Tintin until every line was known by heart. My little bitty nephews are just getting introduced, and I can't wait until they follow the Boy's lead.

  9. beautiful picture. have fun together reading!

  10. Lovely to hear, Michele. And very encouraging for the mom of a 3-year old! We're definitely N's best playmates and it can be tiring, but I'm glad to know there's a light at the end of the tunnel. Hopefully that will help me enjoy this stage while it lasts!

  11. I didn't realize you were a bilingual family. I don't suppose your a military family are you? I lived on that base or a short time as a child. (Go Lundy's Lane!)
    Wednesday has begun not to read quite yet (Although she tries desperately) but she will enjoy books alone and beside me. Although bedtime is still for Mom to read.
    Thanks for sharing your moment with us. I love the photos.

  12. This is really wonderful. I am so happy for your both - that is a really lovely photograph of you both on the sofa. Enjoy the moment.

  13. I too love the picture! We have an only son as well and he does the same thing... Comes up with an idea, and then says, Come On everyone, lets go! He's usually running off waving his hand for us to follow! But I also love listening to him play with his stuffed animals and little plastic dinos... The stories are so much fun to 'overhear'! Thanks for sharing!

  14. I loved your post and your photos! Books can take you everywhere! Your boy is lucky indeed to have parents who foster the love of reading! Readers succeed! Enjoy these years, children grow up in the blink of an eye!

  15. Que alegría Michele!!! Con mi hijo mayor disfruto de estos silencios desde que tenia la misma edad que tu hijo, ahora estoy deseando que el pequeño aprenda a disfrutar de la lectura para tener silencios a 3 bandas.... que maravilla!!!

  16. This is a precious photo! Both my kids love to be read, however Eva doesn't show much interest to read herself (my heart aches) but Jacob was into them since he started crawling around :)
    So we (me and Jacob) often read together -I with my book and he with his. Eva joins in occasionally.

  17. You mean there is HOPE??!! My Boy is 7 1/2 as well. When I suggest that he read a book you would think I asked him to done a pink tutu and dance on his head.

    Love the pic. Thanks for sharing. All the best to you and your family.
    Moriyah Shalom

  18. Hi Michele,
    I posted about you in my blog :)
    You can see it here:
    Have a lovely Sunday :)

  19. Wonderful photos, you've given him a love that will last a lifetime.
    Carol xx

  20. That gorgeous photo brought tears to my eyes. There are so many moments in life that I wish I could just pause for a little while and enjoy. I don't do that enough. Thank you for the beautiful post, Michele... and yay!

  21. So so lovely - what beautiful words to capture such a beautiful moment.

  22. In taking the time to record this precious moment of change in your family you are guaranteeing that you will be able to savor it now- and in the future. :) Beautiful post Michele!

  23. You couldn't have expressing it better. Enjoy the feeling and btw, it's so nice reading you. Thank you!

  24. it´s exactly my feelings with my little girl. Kisses from another patient mother.

  25. I just discovered your blog today, and was brought to tears by this post. My children, esp. my daughter, were similar in wanting adult playmates at all times. My son (youngest of two) was the one who took to independent reading & playing at an earlier age. It's a joy to see them focusing on their own. Thank you for sharing.


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