When Piper was little, I read books to her – One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish; Goodnight Moon; Big Dog, Little Dog. Then she learned to read and zoomed on without me. It was nice (I’ll admit it!) to hand her a stack of books and be able to read my own books. Then one day her nose was buried in a YA book when she cracked up laughing. I had to know what was so funny. She started to tell me background so I’d get the joke, but I cut her off. It sounded amazing and I just had to read the book!!
That night, after she’d gone to bed, I snuck the book out of her backpack. I read well into the night. I left it on top of her backpack for her so she’d know I’d started it. The next morning I found the book on my computer–she’d left it so I’d be able to read more.
Since then we often read YA books together. Spoilers are forbidden. So, it’s fun to read second–so you can freely talk about any parts that come up. Reading together connects us despite the struggles of everyday “is your room clean” or “did you finish all your homework”. We unearth the foreshadowing together. We cry together when cherished characters die. We “awwwww” together when the guy does something super sweet for the girl. We laugh together and squeal together. I love it!
It gives us a chance to talk about things that wouldn’t otherwise come up:
- keeping drama out of relationships
- how to deal with bullies
- ethical dilemas
- why people act the way they do
- the way stories are written
Earlier this year, I decided it was time to start reading with Jay, too. I surprised him with a book that his sisters would never want to read–“Who Cut the Cheese (Doctor Proctor’s Fart Powder)“. We snuggled up on the couch and read the book together. Silently. Twenty minutes at a time (yes, I set the timer). We race to see who’s ready to turn the page first. We each pick out funny or cool parts to read aloud–telling why we like it and laughing together.
Jay really responded to having my undivided attention for 20 minutes. He loves funny things. He especially loved having an outlet for “boy humor” which is usually not allowed–especially around his sisters. Most of the time we just laugh together…for 20 minutes. His imagination builds on the story–he’s always asking, “ooooh, what if this happened….then this…”. It often ends with a big splat! Sometimes he stops to ask me questions. Big questions. He asks about things that troubled him at school–stuff a friend said or did, things that happened that made him feel rotten inside. I get more smiles and more hugs and more “Thanks, Mom.” Definitely worth the time spent in boy land!
For myself, I love a good murder mystery! If no one dies, I’m bored. (It’s not death itself, but catching the bad guy that I love.) I like John Sandford, Karin Slaughter, and Lee Childs and ooOOoooOOOOooOOOooooh so many more! I can’t stand books with pointless details or over-the-top drama.
What do you like to read? What’s the last book that you read with your kids?
Do your kids ever say funny things? Remember to come play Funny Friday with me!