Reading Machines

While Christian and I were frantically getting ready for church yesterday morning (with a whopping 10 minutes to spare), I suddenly noticed that the boys were quiet. This generally means bad things. Like emptying out the refrigerator. Coloring on things I care about. Or sneaking the entire contents of their bedrooms down to the basement.

I began a speedy search of the house, certain I would find something that would not make my day. I heard little voices coming from Wyatt’s room…cracked open the door…and found them both in Wyatt’s bed, tucked under the covers, reading. Super. Cute.

It makes my heart happy to see both of my boys turning into bookworms. At three years old, Graham is gobbling up books as fast as we can feed them. He has a particular hankering for the Critter books by Mercer Mayer (“I just did it myself!”) and Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak (“I’ll eat you up!”). Generally speaking, if the story’s main character is strong-willed, adventuresome and naughty, Graham loves it.

With his amazing memory for books, Graham has started “reading” to us lately. It goes something like this:

Me: “That very night in Max’s room, a forest grew…”

Graham: “…and grew and GREW until his whole room is a forest and he sails away to the wild things and they roll their terrible eyes and show their claws and Max says ‘BE STILL!’”

I think Graham has a future in writing CliffsNotes. :) His motto is “skip to the good stuff!”

Wyatt, on the other hand, is reading every word these days—all on his own. He’s wrapping up a very wonderful year of Kindergarten and reading up a storm. It’s amazing to watch a child’s mind come alive as he learns to read. In just a few months, Wyatt has gone from sounding out each individual syllable in painful detail (“g-rrr-ih-ul-ay?”) to reading fluently at the 1st grade level and beyond (“gorilla!”).

Christian and I are quite proud of our bookish boys and hope they’ll continue down this path. I can’t imagine going through life without a rich cast of characters floating through my mind, and it fills me with delight to think that my boys will soon encounter Oliver Twist, Frodo Baggins, Harry Potter, Mrs. Whatsit and Mrs. Who, Bunnicula, the Baudelaire orphans, and maybe…just maybe…the great Elizabeth Bennet. (Hey, a mom can hope!)

— Sarah