Reading, it is essential to my well-being. I do not remember what it is like not to know how to read. My father is a big reader and he taught me before I started Kindergarten. Lol And that’s back when kindergarten was half days and the main curriculum included learning your phone number and address.
Books, Books, Books, they are all I ever wanted for Christmas. My parents would let me open the wrapped goodies and then confiscate them only to ration them off later. If they didn’t do this, I would just read through them in one day. In 5th grade, it was not inconceivable for me to put away a 200 page book before bedtime.
I always did well in school and I believe whole heartedly that this is due to my love and ability to read. If I read something, I remember it. Tests were never a problem for me and book reports and research were great too because they still involved reading. Math, ahhh, math, now that was a problem for me. My brain just does not compute numbers well.
Now, to my youngest son, the one this post is meant to be about. He has struggled with reading all of his life. He never had the patience to lay down at bedtime to read books with mom. It was mostly me reading with him asking random questions about whatever popped up in his head. As, he was older, reading became something that I had to force him to do. We got tutors, work with reading “specialists” and hooked on phonics. Nothing. His brain computes words like mine does numbers. He is a number specialist. The boy loves his math. He begged to learn multiplication tables in 1st grade. We now practice “reading” by doing math story problems. For a while, I struggled with anxiety that he will struggle all through school because he has a hard time with reading. I mean reading is what helped me coast through high school and college, what would my boy be up against. The other hard thing is in elementary school so much of the day involves reading “out loud” in class, would this affect his self-esteem to struggle in that way in front of the whole class? Kids, the greatest source of “freaking a mother out” as one can get.
As I ramble, I should say that this post boils down to a conversation this morning that I had with my boy over his breakfast. He said if he is half me and half his father then his brain got only our stupid parts. Um, heartbreaking. I just swooped his ever growing body up and hugged my little boy and I told him, I don’t make stupid. You see, my children watched me graduate college with honors. They saw all the pretty color cords and sashes I got to wear with my cap and gown and somehow that registered “Moms a genius” in their heads. I told my boy that he got the best part of my brain, he took my numbers away, my love of science and social studies, and he got my determination and my stubbornness. These are all the things he needs in life to overcome how hard reading is for him now, because he really is brilliant.
Now, I am writing this as he gets dressed and I am preparing to send him off to school. Have I said enough this morning? Will he doubt himself again as soon as that school bell rings? Why can’t we just hold them and keep them small forever?