Please don't think I have surrounded them with phonics flashcards, quotes from Nathaniel Hawthorne and copies of the Constitution. My theory of building literacy in kids is simple-marinate. A piece of meat absorbs all the flavors and nuances of what it sits in. The longer it sits, the deeper the flavor. If the boys are surrounded by all kinds, levels and topics of reading materials-they too will be influenced by them.
So it was with relish, and after a good long read whilst standing in the aisle at Barnes and Noble, that I purchased my 8 year old's first "Calvin and Hobbes" book as a Christmas gift. In my head flashed Mommy-Tube videos of us chortling at the antics of that little boy while my son greedily consumed every word. As with most things Mommy related, it was slightly less than that and more than that at the same time.
It became the middle of January and he hadn't so much as opened the book. I was bummed at my crushed expectations and decided to see if I could introduce them myself. I have learned a direct frontal assault doesn't work with my little negotiator, so I snuck it up on him.
I began to read the book and laughed aloud. He looked up from his 3DS to see what was up. I flipped the pages and kept laughing. I told the 4 year old how funny the Calvin was and, wasn't it cool he had a silly Tiger named Hobbes as a friend?
The 8 year old then lumbered to settle on the floor beside us. He reached for the book and thus began the magic. It wasn't long before he showed me a page where the Mother was drawn closer to a crack addicted banshee then parent. He giggled and said, "Mom, that's what you look like when you are mad!"
I took the insult for what it was-a compliment and a personal connection to the written word. Am I saying this book is the reason he will read the rest of his life? Maybe, maybe not. It is a reason to celebrate as we made meaning from the written word. We also made another Memorable Mama moment. Thanks Cal!