Sometimes, I feel like doing very little.
I don’t want to play. Or clean. Or learn. Or exercise. Or make anything. Sometimes I just want to veg. This can be tricky when you’re blessed with a busy boy. He’s a motivator our Boy. He’s got plans. The Boy’s got dreams I tell you. And he needs us to dream along with him.
If truth be told, The Boy isn’t exactly the most independent child there ever was. In general, he doesn’t do stuff by himself. When he plans to do something, it usually involves E-VER-Y-BODY:
“And now it’s time for … X!” he proclaims. Or “Come on everybody, let’s do Y!”
When he plays, someone has to play with him. Right now, soccer is the flavour of the month. So after dinner for several weeks now, amongst the din of me doing the dinner dishes and the CBC Radio nightly news, Lo works up a heart-shaped sweat playing living-room soccer with him.
[Yes, Lo’s sweat is heart-shaped. Just accept it. I wouldn’t nor couldn’t make stuff like that up. And yes again, we allow soccer in the living room. That is also true.]
At any rate, The Boy just loves this sort of one-on-one playtime. He could play for hours and probably days if we let him. But heavens to Murgatroid, sometimes a parent needs a break. We’ve had some luck making this happen by setting him up with a quiet activity, like a nice craft or a book of mazes. But that usually lasts… oh… 7 minutes? No, if we get any real downtime it’s because The Boy is sleeping.
But, over the last few days, a page has turned. Without prompting, The Boy is picking up books, sitting by himself, and reading on his own. It’s stunning. When it happens, Lo and I stand behind walls spying on him miming to each other excitedly, doing silent happy dances, snapping photos, and beaming proudly. Perhaps we should be using our time more wisely and getting some naps in or something, but we’re not there yet. We’re still in shock. At one point, he actually sat there for 45 blissful minutes of uninterrupted reading.
Every night since his birth pretty much, reading has been part of his bedtime routine. He does not go to bed without a story. This was deliberate. We wanted to fill his mind with possibility. To show him the world, and give him the gift of reading. But he’s 7 and a half and I was beginning to give up hope that he’d ever pick up a book all on his own. That worry is gone.
Last Sunday, we sat together reading our respective tomes on the couch. Lo caught the moment on camera. It was like heaven must be, I’m almost certain. And a couple of nights later when I was putting him to bed, he even suggested that we read quietly side by side, he with his book, I with mine. I had to make sure I heard him right.
I’ve dreamed of these quiet moments for years. Now they’re here and I can hardly believe it. It feels like we’re at the start of a whole new chapter in The Boy’s story. And while I’m excited to read what happens next, I almost wish we could pause on this page for awhile and just savour it, you know?