Something happened in the doctor's waiting room a few weeks ago and I've been turning it over in my mind ever since. My son was sitting in a chair reading a book, when a stranger came and sat down beside him... Stranger: "Do you like reading?
My son: "Oh, yes. I love to read."
Stranger: "I should get parenting advice from your mom so my kid will love reading."
My son: "Oh, no. My mom hates parenting advice. She loves reading though."
Stranger: "I was hoping for some good advice."
My son: "Just love reading for yourself."
Stranger: (laughing) "Ok, where do I start? What book? You like Diary of a Wimpy Kid?"
My son: "Um, no, I don't think you should read someone's diary like that. I think you should read 'The Wind and the Willows.'”
He rambles out a general premise for a solid thirty seconds and continues:
My son: “...then if you visit with the story enough you'll see parts of yourself and maybe you'll know what to do next. Ratty and Mole and nature are great like that." 🌿🍄🌻
The stranger laughed and said, "You are so cute," which immediately killed my son's desire for further conversation. He returned to his book. A day later he brought it up and asked, "Was that supposed to be funny? I don't know why any of it was funny." I asked him, "What did Wind in the Willows tell you?" Turns out, somewhere along the way, my boy became a close reader of books. Not because of book reports, not because of special programs or curriculums, but because he found a story that he really loved. He found a story he loved and he read it often. In the grand scheme of things, he hasn’t read that many books by himself. He’s only read a few. But he’s really lived with those stories and it’s made all the difference.